Now that the long wait is over and I have finally finished college (you have no idea how happy I am to be out of there) I’m trying to think of the next step. What is next for me and my photography and film-making? Well I actually know, I’ve known for a long time. I have bucket loads of ideas, thoughts and projects that I want to start, but the truth is that I’ve sat on them for ages and I have never properly started them because of self doubt. The idea of putting my work “out there” for the masses (all 5 of my family members) to see. It scares the living shite out of me…
You may say, “Well Enda, just don’t put it out there, create the stuff and don’t put it out there, surely the project should be for yourself and that’s all that matters, why are you looking for recognition from others?” The problem is, putting my work “out there” is exactly why I do it, because my main goal is to have meaning behind everything I do. To create real authentic work that educates, inspires and motivates people to get out there, live their life, explore our planet and ultimately help protect it. And that’s hard to do, because it makes you so vulnerable. You question your ability as a creator, are my skills good enough to be put out there for people to see? Will my work make people angry, or sad, or happy? Will it even convey emotion, get people talking and inspired? These are some of the many, many questions that swirl around my head everyday.
Then there is a different kind of doubt, there is a doubt based on the people you know, your family, friends and classmates etc. This kind of doubt is hard to articulate. It’s like trying to write a caption on a post on Instagram and worrying if its good enough. Are people going to judge me and think its too dramatic, or stupid, or pathetic? Will they laugh at me? Will they think I’m weird? will I be made fun of because of it? You may feel that this kind of thinking is very shallow and egotistical, but it is real and very human and one that is always in the back of my mind when I am putting stuff “out there”. For some it influences them a lot and for others its only in the background, nevertheless, it’s still there.
We are comparative, competitive and influential people, no matter who we are or what we do. So, the self doubt in our work can stem from examining others and their work, work that is truly very good and might have inspired you to create your own work, or may have educated you on how to improve your work. That very same piece that has been so positive up until now, then becomes negative and actually destroys your ability to create, because you think that your work isn’t good enough, or nowhere near as good as their’s, whats the point? They are so much better than I am. It’s funny because it’s all about perspective, we have created our own demise. We have taken a piece of work that has been so positive to us initially, just based on our thinking and attitude, and have made it destroy us. The only person we can blame is yourselves. Myself.
There comes a point where you get too exhausted at all this self doubt and you just stop caring. I think I may have a little of this now because I’ve doubted myself for way too long. I’m changing my perspective on things. I’ve realised that my drive and passion for creating meaningful content is too much to not do anything with. Creating content is what truly makes me happy. I will continue to make videos and shoot photos and put my work out there, sure they might be crap and the quality might not be where I’d like it to be now and tomorrow and for ages, but the more I do it the better I will get (hopefully). More importantly, the more I do it, the more confidence I will get and the more people I end up having a positive impact on.
These thoughts have been hindering my creative ability for a while now and I’m just fed up, so I’m going to create and be happy when I’m doing it. I hope that if you are having similar thoughts like me, this helps you get enough confidence to get out there and create, because it truly is what makes us happy. I leave you with a quote:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself” – Unkown
One thought on “The Vulnerability of Creating”
I created an anonymous Instagram account for all my photography. It gives me the freedom to put up whatever I want. I put up things that I like and not for anyone else. I constantly hear that art should be created for yourself first. Not sure if that strategy will help you but its been huge for me while I’m learning.