Happy Indie Creative Friday
TGIF — Thank God It’s Friday.. around the world this is the cheer that echoes when that 5 o’clock bell rings signaling the end of another week of working for the Man. For me it marks my Creative Friday — a crossover from Julia Cameron’s Artist Date and the “get lost” field trips that I talked with Kyle McDonald about on a recent interview.
So, it’s also a look back at a week full of both satisfying accomplishments and a bit of sadness. I’m now halfway through the #My500Words challenge, and that’s overall lifted my average daily word count significantly.
(Post note: This was actually Day 12 of the challenge for me, but it’s really been flying by!)
But right after we lost a musical icon this week also marked the lost of another artist, Alan Rickman, who brought more than a few memorable characters to life.
No one else could’ve made us cheer at the demise of Hans Gruber the way that he had. Even J.K. Rowling wanted only Rickman to play the mysterious Professor Snape. If it wasn’t for the gravitas of this British actor, the humor of “By Grabthar’s Hammer” wouldn’t have worked.
Like David Bowie this was an actor who changed his colors for the environment, but he left an impression that was uniquely his own.
As I’ve slowly developed my writing, I’m continuing to find my own voice. For most of my life I was not only conditioned to fit in, but I felt that it was a matter of survival. As a kid I experienced the tall poppy syndrome in both looking different as the Asian minority in white bread neighborhoods. Then I learned that being accomplished academically made your Chinese parents proud but also alienated you even more.
Now, as I’ve talked with other Indie Creatives, I find that what makes an artist entrepreneur successful is sharing their unique gift in their own way. So it’s been a struggle to undo years of conditioning.
Yet trying to be different just for the sake of doing it feels as contrived as.. lazy storytelling. You know, those roll your eye moments that have become so overdone you’d rather fast forward if you could — except sometimes you can’t because you’re in a theater!
How do we find our voice? I think part of the answer lies in our upbringing. Kids imitate and learn — first with their parents, then their peers. But at some point they rebel and figure what’s their stand.
Similarly, Robert Greene’s Mastery model involves an apprenticeship, learning a craft and developing the necessary skills before we experiment and discover our art. On the surface it’s about practice and results. Underneath is where the real work is done — our transformation.
That’s why I keep going back to the Hero’s Journey. In the end it’s a blueprint for this change. Embedded in our favorite stories is the success DNA — that “artists use lies to tell the truth.” And the greatest truth is about how facing our fears offers everything we want.
Now the fear we’re talking about often isn’t the slay the dragon, save the princess, blow up the Death Star type. More often than not it takes the form of something much more seductive like - just another minute in bed.. nah, what’s the point of trying that.. oh, you’ll just make a fool of yourself.
It’s a moment by moment marathon. It’s about fighting for that last inch every step of the way. It’s about all the little battles that add up to winning the war of becoming who you’re meant to be.
To join other Indie Creatives on their journeys sign up on Blab. For more on indie creativity and entrepreneurship visit Butterfly Formula or to follow my food travel adventures or digital nomad journey visit Tango Vagabond.