I’m going to repeat it. Because I need to. And sometimes I think we ALL need to.
Putting yourself out there is exhausting – and that’s okay.
You might ask, what do you mean by putting yourself out there?
I’m glad you asked, because I mean a lot of things.
Putting yourself out there in any form that allows people to see private parts of you, parts you might otherwise keep to yourself – can be truly draining. Especially in this age of social media with the photo craze at our fingertips, and the documentation of everything for posterity…
Showing your face here and there, pictures of coffee mugs, of your dogs and cats, and maybe even that fly on the wall – right down to in depth conversations of politics, identity, and human rights that drag you in and make you want to scream at some of the idiocy in the human race.
All of this can be downright overwhelming.
And it’s perfectly okay to feel that way.
Then, as an artist of any sort (be it music, writing, or art), there’s that extra step. Even just the act of showing a single person your work can be excruciating. But if you show a glimpse of your work to the online world, it’s like standing naked in front of a two way mirror. They can see every imperfection, everything that bleeds out of your pores, all of these tiny creative sparks that make up your person. You rarely see the appreciation, but the derisive snorts are always audible. And so it chips away at us.
When others can see your work – they can tear it apart.
But not to show someone defeats the purpose of creating it. You want to share your joy in your art. You want people to love your characters, your art, your music.
At the same time, it’s like baring your soul. And we do it. Over, and over, and over.
If you don’t put yourself out there, you can’t reap the rewards. But you can stay safe in the comfy little bubble, mostly happy with your life, right?
True, but what sort of life is that. I guess that’s why we do it, isn’t it? We put ourselves through the passionate cycle of laboring away at a project we love, tentatively putting it out there with the constant fear of rejection in our hearts, and then dusting ourselves back off and trying again until we get that moment. That one moment. The one just for us that makes everything worth it.
So if you’re not there yet, don’t give up. If you haven’t had your moment yet, then keep at it. Dust off those projects, eye them with determination, and attack the crap out of them. Because at the end of the day putting yourself out there can be exhilarating.
And it’s okay if that’s exhausting too.