There’s a certain fear that comes with being creative. The fear of putting your work out for people to judge and form opinions about.That’s why creatives are their own worst critics. We always wonder whether something is good enough,and by extension whether we’re good enough because it’s hard for people to separate you from your work. I always reference about the 1st time I heard teardrops live at pawa254 during Fatuma’s Voice.I didn’t know him physically but a friend had told me about him. When he was on stage doing his thing,I felt something I hadnt, it was new to me,a mixture of admiration and intimidation. I wanted to be able to say what he was saying the exact way he said it. The audience was snapping fingers like every two lines. While I was experiencing all this, a line caught my attention,it went something like “kwa mfuko niko na kichwani,but nina ideas kama thao kichwani” I’ve paraphrased but it was something similar. I felt out of place for a while. I had always considered myself a poet but this was the big leagues.
Everyone else who performed that night did nothing to help what I felt. They just made it worse with their awesomeness poet after poet. I had been accompanied by my friend who was overjoyed about the experience. I’m a person who likes challenges but this one was bigger than me I thought. It took me back to high sch when I failed a physics exam so hard my teacher said I should’ve done CRE instead. Harsh much. He insulted every grain of pride I had in me. I took that negative energy and buried myself in books and in the next test I made sure I showed him the business. Back to Pawa. So there I was, a rookie poet with all this creativity around me. You know,like how you go to a place with wifi and everyone is holding out Samsungs (Galaxy pockets don’t count) but your idiotic Ideos can’t connect. I wanted to be as awesome but I didn’t know if it was doable.I thought about it the whole night even after the event ended. When I woke up the next day I knew I had to make a choice.To be creatively intimidating or live intimidated.
A lot of people face the same kind of fear so instead of attacking it, we sensationalize it. We make movies about it. We dress it up in pretty bows and we give it a soft name, not too shy, not too aggressive. I know the bigger picture might look too big but you have to start somewhere. The first step is to make the first step.
We’re not hardwired to know or to make sense of it all. We don’t have the ability to magically be awesome. We have to do it blindly, to make it up as we go, to make a little sense out of a big thing. We’re programmed just to try.If I could tell you anything – impart any knowledge – it would be to give yourself the chance. Maybe it means breaking your leash ,maybe it means trying something you were always a little too scared to go after. Just give yourself the chance.
A content life isn’t always going to cut it and just skating through won’t always be satisfying. At some point, whether you let yourself believe it or not, you’re going to need more.There’ll be a grumble, deep inside you, a low rhythmic moan that slowly, but steadily rises, searching for something to feed it, to dull the ache, to quiet the whispers.Do yourself a favor and start feeding it now.
Take little steps. Start small, but have faith that you’ll grow.I know that it’s scary. I still think back on that time, when the hole was so big and I tried everything to fill it, and I shudder. Knowing what you want is the hardest question you’ll ever ask yourself – and the hardest question you’ll ever have to answer.
But here’s the thing: You can never get it completely wrong.