Create like nobody’s watching—because they aren’t.
Back in March, I started the Praxis month two challenge of writing 31 blog posts in 31 days. With each post I put out, I got a lot of praise and also great feedback on how I could improve. I worked on one of those posts with Dan Sanchez, one of my Praxis advisors, and later on it became my first ever published piece. Wow! My writing felt so important.
Yet after those 31 days, it hit me. My writing is not that important.
Before March, I used to keep my blog posts as forever drafts, obsessively perfecting one post and wondering what others might think. The idea of putting my creations out there for people to see was scary, until I realized the truth–no one is really watching my creations as closely as I do.
As Zak Slayback wrote recently, “The reality is that your perfectionism is rooted in a mis-placed self-importance.” I was scared to publish my writing because I believed that everyone would obsess over it as much as me. I was scared to dance because I thought everyone would watch as closely as I do. But no one ever does–they’re too busy watching themselves.
When I realized this, I became empowered and really started to dance.
I stopped obsessing over what people thought of my creations because I realized that no one was actually obsessing over them but me. I started creating like nobody was watching–because I knew that no one is ever watching my creation in the way that I do.
No one will ever really care about my writing as much as me, because it’s mine. I am at the center of my own world and so are my creations.
But wait. It’s December now, and these days, actual people besides my mom regularly reading my writing. I had an article on Medium go ‘semi-viral’. Someone from Rolling Stone recently found that first published piece I wrote back in March and I ended up being interviewed in one of their articles. Wow! My site traffic suddenly confirmed it: people are watching me now. Aren’t they?
No. Still no. Hell no.
Because I’ve created my dance for long enough to know that no one will ever watch as closely as I do. When I create, no one is as changed by it as I am. When I trip and fall over my words in a bumbling blog post, no one sees or feels this fall like I do. When I spin and soar across the page as I write this sentence I’m proud of, no one sees or feels this like I do.
My dance is for me, and I’m the only one watching.