#BeingBuddy: Erasing Fear and Making Art

I can say, without a doubt, that the biggest obstacle to my writing fiction has always been fear.

What exactly have I been so afraid of? Well, that’s a good question.

If I thought you had three or four hours to hear my complete answer, I’d go ahead and share it here. Nah, it’s not that bad. I’m just joking.

Or am I? Actually, I’m one of those people who very often hides behind humor to mask what I’m really feeling or thinking. I’ve done it most of my life and I’m a master at it.

So, why do I do that? Well, it goes back to a lot of fear. Myself and countless others often hide our true selves behind jokes or other sorts of walls because we’re scared of sharing what’s deepest inside of us – our true selves. We often do it because we’re fearful of what others will think about us if we share who we really are.

Will people say that we’re weird? That we’re stupid for thinking the way that we do? That we’re just a bunch of big losers?

Having those sorts of fears is very hard for anyone, but I think it’s especially detrimental to those of us who want to make art. Whether you’re writing or making music or doing anything else where you’re creating art, the best way to do it is to dig deep into yourself and use what’s inside of you.

For me, when I’ve truly gotten into a project and dug deep into myself and written without fear, those times have been my most enjoyable times writing. Where I’ve gotten myself into trouble is when I’ve been fearful of what others would think of those writings. Would people think my stuff was weird? Would they say that I had no talent? Would I be a failure in their eyes?

But then I’d take it to an even worse place. I’d totally abandon those writing projects because of those stupid fears. And then I’d feel like a failure. But I realize now that I wasn’t feeling that way because I felt that I had no talent or that I lacked passion. I was feeling like a failure because I was letting my fears cripple me and totally stop me from doing what I wanted to be doing.

And that’s a shame, isn’t it? I’ve done the above and countless others do the same thing every day. And it’s not even because of other people actually criticizing or being mean to us. It’s because of our fears of those things happening.

But what does it really matter even if people don’t like what we do? Yes, we all want to have approval from others and that’s totally understandable. But if we’re not doing what we truly want to do because we think someone’s going to disapprove of us, aren’t we selling ourselves incredibly short? If we let our fears stop us like that, aren’t we stopping ourselves from reaching our true potentials? From being not only who we really want to be, but also from who we really need to be?

I did it for far too long and I’m not going to do it any more. I’m going to write like I’ve never written before. No more fears. If I feel like writing something, I’m going to write something. When those old fears try to hit me, I’m going to hit them back even harder and then erase them from existence.

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I didn’t realize it until very recently, but I am much stronger than those fears are.

So, like me, if you want to write, then you should write. Sing if you want to sing. Dance if you want to dance. Do whatever you feel passionate about and never let your fears stop you from being who you really are. Do you want to truly be happy? Then make sure you keep being the you that you want to be. That you need to be.

I’m going to do the same. I’m going to keep being Buddy.

#BeingBuddy: Finding Fun Ways to Shine

My wonderful wife Lisa and I were talking the other day about creativity. As writers, we both know how it feels to be in The Writing Zone, that magical time while writing when you tap into something deep inside of yourself and create art with it.

It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.

We also talked about how I’ve struggled on some days lately with getting started on various writing projects. It’s not that I’ve had writer’s block exactly, but something has been holding me back. Lisa suggested that I try tapping into my creativity by doing some different things like coloring or drawing.

That sounded like a good idea to me and I figured I’d give it a go this morning. My first thought was to draw, but I couldn’t decide what to draw. I’m not the world’s greatest artist, but I have fun with it.

Here’s one that I did last year:

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I’ve never been sure what to call this one, but I think I’m going to go with GREEN JESUS, THE BLUE MOUSE, AND TWO GUYS WITH BIG PROBLEMS.

So, instead of drawing this morning, I decided to color instead. Lisa has several awesome coloring books and I grabbed one and a bunch of crayons and sat down to color.

I put on some music by The Monkees and I colored for over an hour. And you know what? I had a fantastic time! I came up with my own “vision” of what I wanted it to look like and I ended up being very happy with the results.

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And that’s what I did. Whatever my own personal inner light is, I let it shine here. I had fun and I really feel like I tapped into something inside of me and made my own unique art.

There are probably several thousand people in the world with the same coloring book who colored into the same picture that I did, but I bet that none of them did it 100% exactly like I did.

What I created is mine.

So, I’m going to make this a regular thing, not just on days when I’m not writing. For anyone who feels like being creative and having some fun, I suggest giving it a try.

Get some crayons and let your own inner light shine.