A week or so ago, I recorded a “pitch video” for my Patreon page, a recommended tactic to attract more patrons to that platform. The lighting was funky, my delivery was self-conscious and rambling, and the darn thing clocked in at nearly six minutes long.
I finished it, I hated it, I uploaded it… and then I recorded a podcast about it.
The next morning, I decided that episode — in which I was exhausted, despondent, a bit whiny, and kind of a bummer — would not go out to the public. Only my patrons would receive the “lost” episode. Lucky them?
About a week later, I recorded a new episode seven. Between that first and second attempt, I read an article on Brain Pickings (I’ve mentioned Maria Popova’s invaluable contributions elsewhere) about Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice to a budding younger poet:
“Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide.” — Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
And then, I heard Elizabeth Gilbert interviewed by Krista Tippett, and I remembered Gilbert’s commitment to “just show up,” despite of, and in defiance of, the pain she’s endured in the last three years.
“I’ve learned to give myself all the credit in the world simply for being in motion. ‘Did you do something today toward this thing? Then you’re good.’ Was it great? No. Was it fun? No. But did you do it? Did you keep the ball rolling? Did you keep another step on that path going? Then you’re fine. That’s it.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, On Being, May 24, 2018
Finally, I remembered why I’m doing this podcast in the first place; to share everything I learn as I make stuff, find success as I define it, and stay healthy and sane in the process. It’s about openness, and vulnerability, and transparency.
There are no lost episodes.
That’s not part of the mission.
So. This episode seven is the original episode seven.
It’s all about imposter syndrome, enduring a crisis of confidence, and Doing the Work.
Oh, and I re-recorded that Patreon video, and it turned out much better. You can watch it on my Patreon page.
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
Here are some of the things I talk about in this episode, including a few links to sites with which I have an affiliate relationship. I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase products through those links. It’s a lovely way to show your support for Sonitotum!
- Most nights, I record a very brief gratitude video on my personal Instagram page. It lives for twenty four hours, and there’s no editing involved, though tired eyes and bed-head are often included.
- It’s hard to make the ask. But it’s okay, too. Amanda Palmer and Henry David Thoreau have it right.
- I bet you already know all about imposter syndrome.
- Learn about post performance depression, and how to work through it.
- Everything creative I’ve done since the beginning of April 2018 has been part of my creative re-set, a “beginner’s mind” approach of teaching everything I learn, as I learn.
- If you’re a creative person thinking about embracing neo-patronage by starting your own Patreon page, please consider using this link to sign up to Patreon. When you do, you’ll get a 50% bonus on top of your first month’s earnings — and I will, too (at no cost to you or your new patrons).
- Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights: “How It All Got Started” is my ongoing serial fiction project available exclusively to my patrons. Read the first three installments and then get the rest for as little as $1.00 per month!
- Interested in being an interview guest on Sonitotum? I’m looking for creators willing to be vulnerable, open, and transparent about how they’ve struggled to make stuff, find success as they define it, and stay sane and healthy in the process… if you fit the bill, email me or use the contact form. Thanks!
- If you really want to see the original, awful, Patreon pitch video that made me so glum, here’s a secret(!) link.
What Do You Think?
If you share your own story of a crisis of confidence in your creative life, you’ll help other creators understand their own ordeal. Let’s hear from you in the comments!