I’ve only once been in a strip club, and I wasn’t there because I planned to be.
I have a necklace and on it there’s an orange guitar pick. You can see it here:
Ignore my dumb face.
Anyway, I’ve always worn a necklace of some sort, since Jr. High, I feel naked without one now, so I wear this every day. I kinda don’t remember where I got the guitar pick, I think a friend gave it to me in high school? Or maybe I picked it up at a show? I don’t know. I put it on a necklace though cause I thought it looked cool, and I needed something on my necklace.
I don’t play guitar, I don’t even own one, but because of the pick people are always like “You play guitar?” Happens like at least once a week, usually more. I always just lie and say yes. I’m not a person that feels the need to lie to seem cool, but I will totally lie if it’s more convenient then the truth. I usually say “A little bit.” which isn’t that much of a lie, I did briefly own a small acoustic guitar that I bought at a Cinco De Mayo festival for $5, and I used to play that all the time until it was accidentally broken. That counts right? I also used to play my friends acoustic guitar and beatbox when when I hung at his place, and my friends thought it was pretty sweet, so… “A little bit.” isn’t REALLY lying.
I know they probably think “A little bit” means I actually own a guitar and can probably play actually play at least a few songs, and read music, and I’m just being modest, but hey I can’t help what people assume.
Week week week week. That’s a funny word when you look at it, it looks like a noise a cute little animal should make. “week! week! week!” I probably won’t really do this every week, because I don’t think I have enough wisdom to share on a weekly basis.
“week! week! week!” …it’s like a little piglet!
Anyway, I’ve been noticing a lot of aspiring artists saying really discouraging things about themselves, and having zero faith in themselves to be successful with their art. I know what it’s like to feel like you suck, I feel like that all the time, I’m sure many if not the sheer majority of artists can relate to feelings of suckyness. But chew on THIS self-doubting artist person…
IT’S TOTALLY OKAY TO SUCK!
It doesn’t matter if you suck. At all. Sucking is totally fine (you know what I mean pervert). There’s never ever been anyone who’s good at something who didn’t first completely suck at it. It’s just impossible. Okay, let me retract that, because for all I know there are some magical beings out there who are just world-class amazing the first time they try to do anything ever, or maybe they made a deal with the devil, or maybe they plugged into the matrix and learned kung-fu in a matter of seconds, who knows, anything’s possible. In general, for normal human people, you just have to suck first, and usually for a really long time, there’s no way around it. You gradually suck less the more you do, and a lot of time has to pass before you can see the difference in your work sucking a lot and not sucking so much, so be patient.
Do not underestimate the power of negative self-talk either. If you tell yourself you can’t do something you’ll usually prove yourself right. Trust me on this one, DO NOT SAY DISCOURAGING THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF, EVER, no matter how much you’re feeling it or how much you want to vent, never ever do it. Not to your friends, not to your family, not on your blog, not in your diary, don’t write it, don’t type it, don’t say it out loud, don’t even say it in your mind, when you feel those thoughts creeping into your brain stop and correct yourself. Right now, today, you need to go cold turkey on saying you can’t do it. I can’t stress how much your attitude affects your progress. If you associate your art with despair, stress, insecurity, negativity, etc, you’re just making it that much easier to give up.
Embrace sucking. A baby sucks at walking, but that’s okay, they’re allowed to. Imagine if all the babies in the world decided hey, this walking thing is just too hard, I’ll never be able to do it because I keep adorably falling on my ass. IMAGINE IT! Where would the world be then? We’d all be adults who crawled around on all fours at all times, and instead of shoes everybody would wear kneepads and thick gloves, vehicles and buildings would probably be designed a lot differently, all tables would be only a foot off the ground, and buildings would only have elevators, either that or they wouldn’t be buildings with more then one story at all, how would people even make buildings if we never learned to stand up? I think instead of houses we’d burrow into the ground or something… what was I talking about again? Oh right… while the idea of a world where people never learned to walk is pretty hilarious (can’t you just imagine a 40yr old business crawling down the street with a briefcase in his mouth?!), the point is you’re allowed to suck, it’s alright, just keep doing what you have to do. Sucking is crawling. You have to crawl before you can walk. Anybody who’s awesome at anything I promise you it’s because they did it tirelessly, and not because they’re “gifted” or “talented”.
So go forth and make sucky art, or whatever else it is you want to not suck at, until it eventually stops sucking!
If you are still not convinced, drop me a line and we’ll talk and I’ll get you sorted out.
widdle bitty piglet: “week! week! week!”