If you’re an idiot…

Should you reveal it?singer

Let’s say your weakness is the secret recognition that you KNOW NOTHING and HAVE NO TALENT. Yet you can’t stop inventing and imagining. What to do? You’ve seen so many make fools of themselves. You don’t want to be one of THEM. You’ve been careful to let nobody know what you really are.

But consider: you’ve been talking all your life. So if you’re socially retarded or have incomprehensible ideas, people who matter know already, including those at work. And they probably love you anyway, unless you’re rude and overly-critical. Not rude? Not overly-critical? Then accept the fact that you’re loved by those who matter, in spite of your weakness. Proceed to the next step.

The next step is exhibiting your weakness to strangers by releasing your creation. Seat belts and hard hats required!

To overcome your weakness (of knowing nothing and having no skills),  you must forge ahead: make youtube videos, blog, display your canvases, spend your life working on failed inventions, find opportunities to perform, self-publish that secret novel.

Can you risk it? Maybe you should.

Be honest. Don’t pretend, especially not to yourself. If you want to get better and actually produce something, be prepared for years of bumpy trials and failed works. You’ll get smarter and better.

Whatever you do, don’t devote yourself to a creative path in expectation of wealth and glory. Here’s a shocking admission by a General Electric Company Executive about the startup of radio, as quoted by Thomas H. White in Early Radio History: “Fifteen years is the average period of probation, and during that time the inventor, the promoter and the investor, who see a great future, generally lose their shirts… This is why the wise capitalist keeps out of exploiting new inventions and comes in only when the public is ready for mass demand.”

Like the development of world-changing inventions, creating something admirable and worthy takes a long time. And the market is not always accepting. Hence the starving artists (writers, inventors, musicians, actors).

Why try? If you don’t take that next step by throwing your creations to the world (or the wolves), you’ll never receive an opinion that helps you get better. That, and new associations with like-minded people, may be your only reward. Hopefully it will be enough to keep you going and make you care less about being an idiot.

In the end, it’s not your creation, but what creating does to your life that matters most. From the point of view of a consumer, my life has been enormously enriched by musicians, actors, writers, artists, and other inventive people who may never be known in a wide or lasting way. In spite of its warts, the world is full of astonishing creators, and this internet has let us know each other better. Thank you all!

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4 Comments

Filed under art, courage, Creative process, invention, Writing

4 responses to “If you’re an idiot…

  1. This was great, thanks 🙂

  2. I say embrace your inner idiot and put your stuff out there!

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