“Trust your instincts, Kid. You don’t need to twist yourself in knots trying to impress people who are not worthy of you. Got it?”
~ Bruce Bechdel, Fun Home The Musical
I’ve just had a little shade thrown my way today from someone I see everyday yet don’t have much interaction with.
The fact I’m writing about this would imply that I’m bothered by it. Of course it irks me. But it’s not my problem.
Yet, I find this weirdness prompts a really good opportunity for a writer’s pep talk.
(See how strange energy inspires some good?)
I don’t twist myself into knots to please. I pay respect to those around me and do my best despite how people perceive it. Their perception is their choice, not mine.
When you’re writing and feeling stuck, these thoughts tend to pervade our minds and halt the creative flow.
What will my family think if I write this?
Do these passages read well?
Who will give a damn about what I have to say?
Who will throw me shade by not buying my work or acknowledging it some way – not because I want self gratification or praise – but because I want to know I’m reaching people?
If you want to keep writing – don’t care what others are going to think.
Don’t twist yourself into knots giving a damn how your work is being perceived.
It doesn’t matter if your writing is going to disturb someone in the marketplace. Think of the iconoclasts who paved the way for incredible creation: David Bowie, The Beatles, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Martin Luther King, Jr, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Nina Simone.
They rattled walls. They pissed off people who didn’t matter. They inspired and fortified the ones who do.
For me, this person doesn’t matter, despite the momentary bother I feel. One day soon, I will move on to another experience, another opportunity, and she will only matter in the lesson I obtain from her.
She will have taught me not care when I have so much more going for me. My world doesn’t align with hers. That doesn’t make me less than her.
You aren’t tied down to anything or anyone who isn’t a loved one.
People like this teach you to keep creating your life. And if you’re a writer, they teach you to write without judging your work, without letting weird vibes and self doubt deter you from what really matters to you – your goal, whatever that may be.
Keep writing despite the negativity you think you feel. It’s not your business to listen. It’s your business to go with your gut instinct. It’s your duty to bring something exceptionally and amazingly cool into the world.
Don’t be in the shade of someone that doesn’t give you power. Let them deal with their lives, and allow yourself to flourish in yours. Listen to Lisa Kron’s words through the voice of Bruce Bechdel in ‘Fun Home’. Be true to yourself – not others.
If you know the story of Bruce, you’ll know he sadly didn’t take his own advice. He did not live in his authenticity and suffered greatly with the notion of how people would think of him if he lived in his truth. (Although, to be fair, he may not have understood what that truth was.) His suffering and hiding became his undoing. He died never knowing how to be himself. His story is also a lesson to us all.
Don’t try to impress people who are not worthy of you.
Be a Bowie. Break down a wall.