Wednesday, 29 October 2014
I think it's overly dramatic to call them "existential crises" but they are hard times that have to do with my life and how I feel about it so... call them what you will....
One of the things I'm feeling stuck on, crying over and scared about is my art. Now I know saying "art" is a pretty broad generalization but what else am I going to say... my writing and photography and drawing and other stuff I sometimes do?
So let's stick to writing and photography then. As art forms I...engage in and am not awful at.
It's hard enough for me to say I'm an ok writer and an ok photographer. I feel like I'm being boastful, and potentially wrong. So then how am I supposed to take the criticism that comes with putting your work out there?
I'm not feeling confident enough to post my writing on "writing" sites or my photos on photo pages that ask for critiques. Because I feel like if someone says something critical I'll just burst into tears and use it as backup for the voice in my head that says "see? I told you you suck."
I think I've talked about it here before, but I remember taking a writing course with one of Canada's top living poets. I wrote a poem for one of the assignments and got it back with a mark of a B and some comments. I was horrified. Clearly I was a terrible poet and should never, ever do this again.
Recently, I found said poem in a pile of old papers and I looked at it and it was not great! I had, now that I looked back at it, rushed the poem, not looked it over, not really thought it through and wasn't even sure I had gotten across the message I'd been trying to share. And yet, I'd received a B from an actual, well known, for reals poet. What the bleep self? That should have been a "sweet, he gave me a B and some comments for improvement, awesome, recognition from a peer!" instead of a "OMG LIFE IS OVER I'M TERRIBLE."
Now, I find myself just justifying it away as "well, he was just being nice, had to say something nice as a professor" blah blah blah.
Jason and I had a disagreement because one of Canada's top living landscape and portrait photographers liked a photo I posted on (teh evil) Facebook. I was so excited and happy but then told Jason that the fellow was clearly just being nice. Jason's head nearly exploded as he tried to explain that this guy did NOT just like photos to be nice and that this was a huge compliment on my shot.
And yet... I still just brush it off. "Just social media" or... whatever.
So really, I can't win.
I'm too scared to really put my art out there because what if it's terrible and I'm told that. Or what if it's just ignored and so less than... noticeable. The (not so healthy) argument in my head is that if I don't try, at least I can pretend I might have been...
I guess as I'm typing this out the answer becomes a little bit clearer. If I put my stuff out there and I'm told it's bad, I can choose to quit, or choose to use that as suggesting I get better and learn more. And in terms of being ignored? Well, I'm learning that's a bit of the social media game and either I play it, or I don't care enough about it to be rattled.
Am I going to quit being a spy to go back and take more art courses and more photography and writing courses? No... not right now, anyway.
So how am I going to learn the self confidence (but not arrogance?) that I'd like to have... how am I going to be proud and happy of what I do even if I never get fame and accolades and prizes and rich?
It's one thing to be feeling like I'm coming into my self and my own... it's another to then put that out there and be willing to take the hits that will probably come...