Creative Intimidation

This is a bit of a rant, a bit of me working stuff about myself out, and a bit of a ramble. Hope it’s interesting!

I think too much about what other people might say about me. I think too much about what people could possibly think about the creative work that I produce, and that prevents me from making creative work.

It’s damn intimidating to create something when you have the expectation that others are gonna see it. It’s why I’m so drawn to technical writing and copyediting – when you’re writing a really in-depth technical document, almost nobody is going to lambast you for spending a few extra minutes getting the wording of a sentence exaaaactly right.

But when I’m working on my own creative stuff… well, plain and simple, I don’t need to worry that much. I can’t worry about it that much, because it just delays things too long and means I never finish my projects. When I worry too much, it’s because I sincerely believe that anything I create and release has to represent the entirety of who I am and what I do to everyone. It’s hard to release a demo when you think it’s going to shape everyone’s thoughts about you forever.

Hell, I’m able to chill out and disconnect with my drawing and sketching. Post crap sketches and roughs to Twitter, to Instagram, to whatever other social dumpster fire I’m currently using. But I can’t do it with much else.

I have separate personal and artsy Twitter accounts. I post things on my art account because I’m scared of showing it on my personal account (pretty valid concern I think), and so I don’t need to worry about exactly what I post there so much or the quality. But regardless of most of my creative energy being directed towards that art account… I still have these sort of hangups with any work that isn’t drawing or painting.

With my demoscene stuff, it’s hard to work on making an actual demo because thoughts like “Other people are making cooler stuff than you” and “Your stuff can’t compete with XYZ that just came out!” are constant. And I know that – I wrote a whole damn post on exactly that. I’m just getting started and have released one demoscene thing, ever; I’m not gonna be creating mind-blowing stuff after just that.

Same thing with my game work. I’ve made a ton of experimental stuff, 99% of it unfinished, and only actually completed… one, two, maybe three things? Why on earth am I so dang worried about it. I’m still in the baby stages of creating this stuff, I don’t need to hold myself to the standards of a professional who’s been doing it for decades.

I’m gonna try to worry less about my creative output. Like, all of it. Who cares if I release something and it’s not absolutely, utterly perfect? Go, release all the crap games, the crap music, the dodgy whatever. It’s all practice for making better stuff in the future.

My goal shouldn’t be to release great stuff. It should be to make better stuff in the future. Only way I’m gonna do that is to finish and release more stuff no matter the quality.

Like my code, it used to take ages to get something decent, and now I can pump out a pretty good-looking and working piece of code without much time or effort. Getting to that point with other creative skills sounds like it’d be awesome and really help me express myself.