Fear of One Hit Wonder SyndromeBy Sarah
Are you secretly afraid you can’t beat it? Or that it was just a happy accident?
I mean, you know you made it, but it feels like the exception and not the rule, and maybe you’ve decide that it doesn’t count?
Or you feel like you’ve mysteriously managed to trick Fate and slip one by him as he dozed off on his 24 hour shift at the Dickensian Don’t Get Too Big for Your Britches accounting desk in the sky?
Maybe you’ve even made something you love so much that now it’s paralyzing you from making more work because you think none of it will ever measure up to that piece again.
And if it’s been a while since you’ve made anything and you feel rusty, these worries can bring on a full-blown bout of extreme self-censorship and anxiety about ever trying again.
Listen, you’re not alone. Almost every artist, crafter, writer or designer I know secretly harbors these thoughts or has done at some point in their creative life.
Thing thing is, it’s total garbage. You made it once and you can make it again–or do something better.
Your best work is there to remind you what you’re capable of and the incredible possibilities that lie before you. You’re not a One Hit Wonder, over the hill and past your prime.
No one is.
Even One Hit Wonders. Because their singular “hit” was about the market and has nothing to do with the music.
You have a lifetime of creativity and possibility in front of you. And in that lifetime, sometimes you’re going to make crap–it’s inevitable.
And those of you who push yourselves out of your comfort zone most often will make more crap than the others.
But you will also make more great stuff too.
The great stuff and the…. “wadders” as we say in the sewing world, are like a yin yang inevitability–each is necessary for the other, and together they make your path.
The “wadders” are not mistakes, and the time you took to make them was not wasted. They’re paving stones on your path to better work. The real trick is to enjoy and honor them.
And the more you create, the easier this is to do because…the more you create, the more you own your process.
The more you create, the more you realize you are not your stuff. You are, in fact, a many splendor-ed thing!
The more you create, the more you embrace the evolution of your own artistic journey and the less you care what others think about what you do.
The more you create, the more okay you are with your mistakes, side trips, and risk-taking.
The key is to commit to yourself and your particular creative path regardless of the “success” of the work you make. Why? Because you’re already in it for the long haul–whether you realize it or not.
You could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but you”ll probably live to a ripe old age and you’ll still be drawn to creativity and creating–whether you’re making anything or not–just like you are now.
How are you going to spend those years from now til then?
Are you going to get to the end of your life having protected yourself from bad feelings and occasionally looking silly, or will you include yourself in the creative experience simply because you want to, because you enjoy it, because it makes you feel like yourself, fully connected to being alive?
Will you give yourself challenges? Will you make things you have no idea how they will turn out? Will you immerse yourself and go to your particular edge?
Will you live your life like the artist you are–creating, looking, thinking, noticing, reveling, marveling, appreciating and making-making-making–unwilling to rob yourself of your particular creative experience, your particular creative path?
What will you choose?
Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.
Sarah is an artist and creativity coach in the NY Metro Area. She started makegreatstuff.com to help busy creative people start living their lives as the artists they are. You can view her artwork at sarahbushartworks.com