Here’s my second vlog post (video blog) on my YouTube Channel. I almost didn’t post it (which connects to this post’s topic). If you enjoy the content, please subscribe to my channel. It’s what helps people find the videos on YouTube.
My son and I both love to draw. Sometimes we’ll sit right next to each other, two introverts alone together in the kitchen, pencils and paper sprawled all over the kitchen table. But there’s a huge difference between the way he and I approach our craft. I will often stop short of what I want to do. I will make sure that I can draw something ahead of time. I’ll hedge my bets. I’ll abandon an idea that seems too hard.
My son is different. It doesn’t look impressive if you watch him at work. But if you pay close attention, you’ll see that he is fearless. He sketches out anything that comes to mind. If it doesn’t work, he scribbles over it and grabs a new sheet of paper. There’s no reticence. There’s no second-guessing. He simply starts again. And again. And again.
I mention that because every single year, I choose a mantra for the year. In the past, it was “be present” and “make less.” This year, though, it’s simple:
Whenever I start a creative work, I battle against fear. It might be a fear of what people might think. It’s often a concern about “dislikes” or bad reviews. Sometimes it’s simply a fear that I will waste my time and never accomplish what I want to accomplish. For me, fear has been the greatest obstacle to creative production. It’s why I almost didn’t share the last two videos I created on my YouTube channel.
But this year, I want to take more creative risks. I want to push the envelope. I want to make work that pushes me to try new things. I want to experiment and try new things and remember that every iteration takes you closer and closer to success.
And that’s the lesson from watching my son. He’s reminding me to be bold. So, whether it’s a video or a novel or a lesson plan or a picture, I want to be fearless.
So, what’s your mantra in 2017? Feel free to comment with your answer in this blog post or on the video comments on YouTube.
This post is also available on my Creative Classroom podcast. If you’re someone who enjoys listening to podcasts on the way to work, this might be a great way to “read” my blog. (Note: if you enjoy the podcast, please feel free to leave a review on iTunes or Google Play). You can also listen to it below: