There's power in looking silly and not caring that you do. - Amy Poehler
The girls have been retiring to bed at a reasonable hour and my renovation workload has been easing up. I find myself juggling the precious commodity that is time (9pm-midnight) to work on the children's book I've long dreamed of writing and illustrating. Alas, I've been uncharacteristically unproductive. I stare helplessly at a blank computer screen, and it's not for lack of ideas that this is so. I type lots. I delete lots. I spend much time repeating this destructive behavior of typing and deleting. Paralyzed by the fear of failure - the fear of having my creation be on display, judged, and ultimately found in the bargain bin of say, an Albertson's or CVS - I refuse to commit to any of them. Like a sad wallflower, I crouch on the sidelines watching others pass me by, paralyzed by insecurity.
Luckily, I can look to my girls for a fresh perspective. Olive and Quinn, being so new to the world, are such courageous little beings. I delight in watching Quinn stare at herself in reflective surfaces (my confident baby girl smiles and coos at herself, for she likes what she sees). I find inspiration in watching Olive unveil her masterpieces. The kid puts marker to paper like it's nobody's business and never hesitates to make a bold mark. She never compromises her vision based on what others think, and her marked up hands and face suggest that she enjoys the process. Olive is living proof that, "an artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."* She creates "pictures for Mama" with such enormous pride that I too, aspire to be so strong and brave when pursuing my own artistic endeavors.
So what if all I have to offer to the world are shit nuggets? Filtering out the turd is part of the process. Practice will make perfect, er, "good enough." Even child prodigy Olive worked to master her potato-heads and stingrays.** See here:
"You can't be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it."*** Second-guessing myself with my type-and-delete behavior hasn't taken me far. So starting tomorrow, NO, starting today, instead of opening up my laptop, I will open up a notebook. Non-electronic. Think Mead. Think spiral! Putting actual ink to paper will allow my insecurity to bleed out... Oy.
Be brave. My mantra for the rest of 2014.
And if that proves difficult, I sure as heck am going to try my very best to fake it.
* Observations of famed American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley.
** Munchkin is not actually a prodigy. Like any good parent, I'm biased and think my own kid is da' bomb.
*** Pearls of wisdom uttered by Tina Fey in "Bossypants."