The Courage of a Creative


It was my fault.

I got a little case of the yips. A little bit of nerves. Panicked a little bit in the middle of the audition.

Let's just say it wasn't my best work, and for weeks I've been beating myself up about it.

But recently, I've been reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, and she quotes Teddy Roosevelt. (Paraphrasing:) It doesn't matter what the critics and the haters say. What matters is climbing into the arena and taking your shot.

[Update: Here’s the actual quote from Roosevelt:]

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

If your value is courage, then you've already won.

No matter what you create, if you're putting it out there for judgment there are going to be days where you're going to get your ass kicked, and you've got my utmost respect, because it takes guts and courage to get up off the mat, dust yourself off, and say you know what, that sucked, but I did it, and I'm going to do it again.

Keep doing what you're doing. Keep putting it out there. Keep improving. Keep getting better.

I thought I had some snappy closing to that, but I don't. See? Sometimes it sucks and you do it anyway.