Go Get High: The Joy of Creation Is All That Matters
It’s uncomfortable: putting your work out there in that vast void of the internet, in public, in front of your social network. It’s even more uncomfortable when the response from said void is minimal, when you’ve decided to “eat dirt”, to “hustle”, to “stay on your grind” (i.e., to sustain that output), without any sign of things getting significantly better anytime soon.
It’s uncomfortable because you start to wonder what people think about you. It starts to gnaw at your self-confidence and creativity. You start to wonder if everyone is secretly changing their opinions about you, if you’ve gone from cool or even just normal to weird or lame or melodramatic or corny or conceited. You wonder how those people would look at you the next time they saw you in person, knowing and seeing the parts of you that used to remain hidden.
When you put your business, your emotions, your mind, and your vulnerabilities out there, for the world to see on demand, the early phase can be quietly and emotionally crippling, because you just don’t know if it’ll work, if anyone cares, and most importantly, what people think of you now that you’ve come out of your shell.
You can tell yourself no one is thinking about me, and that’s probably true, but for that second when they see your post, they probably are. And with every post, those seconds build up, and even though the big shots that you follow on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter say you need to give the process months and years to develop, when those seconds have been piling for weeks, and you still feel unsure of yourself, it can start to f*ck with your head.
But ultimately, it’s your choice.
You could stop it all. Right now. But you won’t, will you? Because you don’t want to, do you? If you did, you would’ve probably quit by now. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to stop because you like what you do. The work comes with its own high, and sharing it comes with its own high, and seeing those first likes or claps comes with its own high.
So that’s what you must work with--not what is missing, but what is already here and available and accessible, what is fun and inspiring and challenging right now.
Those three highs are, in my opinion, listed in the order of value you should give to them: the creating, the sharing, and the feedback. Feedback is crucial, but it never has been, and never will be, more crucial than your joy. That's why we can't live this life seeking attention for the sake of it. Focus on the biggest high, the creating. Let the sharing and feedback help you improve, but don't let those things cripple you. You must enjoy yourself. You must. There can be no if, ands, or buts about it.
Get myopic, laser-focused, tunnel vision about that first high, not because it’ll eventually bring you all the likes and shares and fame and hype (because it might not--your content or distribution or both might suck). Rather, focus on nothing else but the joy of creating and whatever flows from that process naturally, because when you invest in that high, you’ll have so much joy stored in you that all that other ishh will start to feel irrelevant. If the fans come, cool. If they don’t, cool. You won’t know unless you share it. Let the world decide. Let your work help and/or offend who it may. Worrying about them is not your job at this point.
You cannot pour into others from an empty cup. Your only job is to 1) get high and 2) stay there.