Are you allowed?

 

Over the last four years, a number of people have reached out to me to talk about their idea for a book, about their vague thoughts of starting a blog or vlog or about the creative/ writing process in general. I’m no expert, but I love talking about all these things! It’s not that they’re asking for help or even support anyway. It’s more about putting “it” out there with someone who they think might get it.

Often people just want to share what’s in their heart or imagination. They’re not looking to another person to make it happen for them, but I suppose all they really want is a little bit of encouragement that their quirky little inclination has substance and deserves a chance to live.

I love hearing about the longing to create, which so many people have. Whether it’s to facilitate a big dream or just for the opportunity to challenge and express themselves. Most people are not looking for the “10 step plan for producing beautiful work” (though, if you have that plan, please forward it to me immediately). Nor do they need the “37 tips for creative geniuses”. They just want a little encouragement, a little hope that if they give this thing a shot they won’t die, break something, humiliate themselves, offend the rest of the human race. Of course, I can’t guarantee any of those things won’t happen when you start your creative project, but generally speaking there are more positive than negative outcomes likely to ensue when you take a step into the creative wild.

What I’ve noticed most of all is that people are looking for reassurance that their ideas and opinions are valid. For some reason so many of you intelligent, talented and interesting people hold back from starting something new or putting yourself “out there” because you feel like you’re are not allowed to.

Not allowed to write your memoirs because your life hasn’t been interesting enough.
Not allowed to blog because your thoughts seem trifling.
Not allowed to write because you don’t make words real good.
Not allowed to start a business because you aren’t trained or experienced enough.
Not allowed to start a vlog because you don’t know how to edit videos.
Not allowed to have an opinion because you aren’t as intelligent as other people. (Who are these “other” people by the way? Everybody talks about them, but who are they exactly?! We obviously don’t like them, so how about we just forget them.)
Not allowed to paint because you never took a class.
Not allowed to sell your stuff because it’s not good enough.

All that stuff may very well be true. But if you want to do it… just bloody do it!

Who cares if no one reads, likes, comments, buys, subscribes, worships you? We get so hung up on these details that we forget that we live in an era where we are free and equipped do ANYTHING we want to. We can do what we love and we don’t need permission or approval. We can study whatever, train in whatever, practise whatever. It’s ours for the taking. And if you practise and you work hard and invest into yourself and allow your work to evolve maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have a measure of success and acclaim.

And if you do all this and nothing comes of it ask yourself this, did you have a blast? If the answer is yes, then it’s WORTH IT! If the answer’s, no you didn’t have fun doing it, then I’m sorry, but you’re doing it wrong. Sometimes it’s hard working on personal, creative stuff, because our expectations of ourselves can be unachievable at present. But my experience has been that my life is infinitely enriched by creativity and expression. Enriched by the wonder of ideas and thoughts coming together in surprising ways, but also enriched by you. By people who read and reach out to me to let me know that something resonated with them, or that they experienced what I’ve experienced, or that they feel a little more courage to START or to finish or that they want to talk about their little thoughts or their big thing. 

If you have a blog of project or something cool you want to share, please do in the comments below or on Insta or Facey or by snail mail or homing pigeon or whatever you like, I’m down with it.

 

 

 

Comments
Comment from Beth Seddon - 09/04/2014 at

This is so encouraging Aziza! So glad I read this. Recently started a blog and my confidence has been rather fluctuating haha, so thanks for the encouragement! :)

Comment from Carol Oakley - 10/04/2014 at

Love this! Yes I already Insta’d that I love this but seriously it’s great. And I love your writing style, hillarious. Flows so well. I’ve gone back and read a few more of your posts and you’ve become like a little character in my head. Much like one of my beloved sitcom heroines. Trust me, that’s a good thing. A little weird but good.

Comment from Aziza - 10/04/2014 at

Beth, that’s fantastic! I just checked the blog out – love it! I’ve always enjoyed your “voice” on Twitter so I’m really glad you’re taking it to the next level! Join us on Sat, 26 April for a writing morning?

Comment from Aziza - 10/04/2014 at

Thanks Carol! Double the love is always welcome ;) Do you have a creative project you’re working on?

Comment from Leah James - 11/04/2014 at

You’re one of my heroes ZZ :)