On fist-fighting grizzly bears and taking creative risks

Come at me… (Image: Thomas Lefebvre)

I’m pretty sure, if I were to put one of those fancy brain scanner hats on (I think that’s what they call them, right?) while doing something creatively risky, they’d see the needle jump about as much as it does as if I were standing face to face with a rabid grizzly bear. (Do grizzly bears get rabies? — I dunno…)

Isn’t it funny how that happens? We get just as scared when we take a creative risk as we do when our actual life is in danger (or it seems like we do, anyways).

But the cool thing is, after doing it, the same thing happens as it would on the other side (being that I made it out alive) of that grizzly bear fight.

After hitting publish (or whatever you do to get your art out into the world), you feel like you’ve just manhandled a fucking grizzly bear.

This always happens, and it’s so awesome.

But then, something strangely important happens…

After the adrenaline slows down, I always wonder what the hell I was so scared of.

There was no bear. No rabies. All I was doing was some silly little creative thing with almost no negative repercussions as far as my physical well-being and survival goes. What’s the worse that coulda happened?

Oooh — if I pitch that publication, they may not email me back — how sccaaarryy.

Oooh — if I DON’T write another listacle, I might not get a thousand shares — utterly frightening.

The next time you really want to take a creative risk and put something out there that may not work (you know, the kind where you envision losing all of your friends, being evicted from your apartment for offending your landlord’s belief system, and ostracized from your local pub), and you feel those survival warnings go off, stop for a second and see it as the fun time you’re about to have...

You WILL feel like you’re getting into a fist fight with a bear. And when you put the damn thing out there, you WILL feel like you’ve single-handedly torn that bear a new asshole.

So do it. Feel that fear. Do it anyways. Feel that rush. See how silly it all was. And do it again.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat.


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