The Biggest Barrier to Creating Anything

Perhaps the biggest barrier to creating anything is the idea that what you want to create must be "good" or "useful" or "purposeful"—and this fucks with us quite a bit. I imagine it fucks with us in the same way that Americans (compared to Europeans) often stop playing music after a certain age because they're not going to "do anything with it." As if that was the point of playing music.

If every kid in an orchestra had missed their plans on making the New York Symphony or being Jimi Hendrix, the education and learning and development that came from playing that instrument wouldn't go to waste. The same goes for adults: drawing, playing the drums, kicking a ball, learning how to cook, developing your crochet skills–none of it is wasteful, and I feel like many adults need reminders of this.

Your life isn't split into two extremes: work hard or do nothing (in order to recover from working hard). There’s so much to do in the middle. Lately I've seen, heard or used the word "spectrum" an unusually large amount of times, and I believe it's coming up for a reason. Many things live on a sliding scale, and I recognize that while polar extremes or absolutes might be easier for our head to wrap around, most of the time, it’s not where the truth lives. So what lives on the spectrum between work and doing nothing? Play. And get this, it doesn’t always include beer (wild, I know). Don’t let our current culture bully you into believing that you need alcohol to fill the space between nothing and work. That’s a cop out for people who are afraid of making things that won’t be “good enough”—an arbitrary measure they’ve mustered in their scared brains. Believe me, I’m familiar. Quit it.

The measure you’re using for ROI is bullshit.

So you might be afraid to fill that gap because what you produce might not be "good." But what measure are you using? Because whatever it is, it’s keeping us as a whole from trying a lot of things. And frankly, that's not okay. Kids are not the only ones who should be encouraged to develop their curiosity. This is a life long thing, my friends. If money is your only measure, you’re fucking it up. Joy is a thing that’s valuable.

I'm proud of those who play with makeup because they want to experiment, or those who budget for classes and lectures just-because. There are many of us exploring things, but many still who might need a reminder that what we want to do is okay whether it’s make a set of greeting cards without being a writer, recording and releasing a song without being a singer, or roasting your own coffee beans without owning a shop. You don't have to be a master; the process is the point.

If that's really tough for you to understand, think about Life. You don't go through it to die. That isn’t the real “aim.” The process is the whole point. Hence, your fucking Life (the part between being born and dying).

Get it? Now make something you want. Bring people in to help you hone your skills, collaborate, or do it on your own. But do it. Your wanting and your joy and your experience-gained is more than enough.