Helping Creative People Create

Uncertainty and the Day the Music (Nearly) Died

It would be hard for me to find any of my buddies who’s impacted me more than Jonathan Fields.

Jonathan has always found a way to push me, and he’s usually the first person I go to with ideas or advice.

In fact, it was but a few months ago that Jonathan convinced me to take a massive step in a direction that scared the living wizz out of me. The conversation went like this:

Me: “So I’ve toyed with really making a go at making music and letting other people listen to it. What do you think? Am I crazy?”

Jonathan: “Well, I don’t know. How much do you like making music?”

Me: “Well, I could see myself doing it every day for the rest of my life. The only problem: I pee myself every time I think about anyone listening to something I’ve created.”

Jonathan: “Ah. This reaction means that you have to do it. If you’re so protective and so emotionally tied to the uncertainty of the outcome, then you have to do it. No questions.”

Me: “Yeah. Yeah!”*high-flying chestbump with Jonathan*

Three months later, I’ve done just that. I’ve been writing and playing every day. I’ve been learning about the magical world of home recording. I’ve been doing. And I’ll be sharing something with you all soon. (More on that later.)

Jonathan helped me realize that the one thing I’d been holding back on was the thing that I held closest. Why? I was scared of what might happen next. Writing music to me is far different from writing here. It’s intensely personal, and, well… it freaks me out that other people might hear it.

And then there’s the whole “what if I suck!?!?” internal questions. Who doesn’t ask themselves that frequently? Here’s a small sampling of fears that run through the minds of anyone who’s creating something intensely personal:

  • “What if people think of me differently?”
  • “What if nobody likes it?”
  • “What if I’m not as good as I think I am?”
  • and the biggest: “What if I’m actually successful?”

Sound like you? It sure sounds like me.

Jonathan addresses all of this in his upcoming book: Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. (Be glad you’re only reading his advice; in person he gives kicks in the pants.)

Seriously though, if you’re creating stuff for a living, you need to stop what you’re doing and pre-order this baby. It’ll change everything. I’ve had the pleasure of reading it, and it is fantastic. But, more than anything, I owe Jonathan like crazy for giving me a much needed splash of cold truth to the face.

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Some other friends have great write-ups on Uncertainty. Check ‘em out!

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