“Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.”
This is a blog post about fear, creativity and shit sandwiches. – A blog post about my opinion, about finding your own personality and in the broadest sense a tribute to the fantastic book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and the great articles by Mark Manson, which both inspired me to write this.
Many people ask me where I get my ideas for blog posts. And this is where I might differentiate myself so much from other working professionally in that business. I don’t have an editorial calendar, no weekly blog post topic brainstorm wall, no “I need to post at least twice a week” aggressive voice in the back of my head. I am creative, I am chaotic and I can only write something good when I really feel it. That’s maybe one of the main reasons why I could never work in a 9 to 5 job and why I knew that I need to break out of these vintage patterns of having a “real” job.
This post does not originate from a single encounter yet is an accumulation of talks and negotiations I had with friends, bloggers, my family or total strangers. I need conversations, encounters, great books, but mostly people that get me thinking.
In the big magic, Elizabeth lists some of the things, why people do not do what they secretly want to do. And of course sometimes it is complicated but EVERYONE, yes also you reading this, has the power to take control of their own life and change things. So be honest with yourself and tell me if:
“You’re afraid that there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it?”
“You’re afraid somebody else already did it better? You’re afraid everybody else already did it better?”
“You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life?”
This is such an important paragraph for me as I have thought about this at least 5 times during the last week. Why do I even continue blogging? I don’t do something life changing. There are people having better photography, more well-chosen poetic words, more life-changing topics, more pretty faces and more athletic and fit bodies. Why don’t we just do what we love without comparison? We all did as a child. But then something about the social pressures of adolescence and professional pressures of young adulthood squeezes the passion out of us. We’re taught that the only reason to do something is if we’re somehow rewarded for it.
To answer it with Elizabeth’s words: “But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”
“You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You are afraid you don’t have the right degree for this?”
Seriously, I studied Business Administration, which is far away from something creative. I still tell myself that I learned something there (you always learn). But what I do know has nothing or very less to do with what I studied some years ago. Creativity doesn’t need a degree, it’s all inside you.
“You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again.”
So what does this all have to do with shit-sandwiches? It means that you will never find THE GREAT JOB, THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE, THE ULTIMATE LIFE PURPOSE that doesn’t come with a shit sandwich.
What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own kind of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. He says that: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So when you start a blog, a passion, a new job, a new relationship; don’t ask yourself if you are passionate about it. the question is “Are you passionate enough that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of what you are going to start?” Manson makes a concrete example when stating: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start.
As a blogger you have to deal with hundreds of companies, who don’t understand that your work deserves a monetary compensation. You can have the most amazing creative campaigns and the other day, you have to deal with bureaucracy and learn how to not get arrested because of unpaid shipping taxes. I guess it is the same with everything. You can only see a rainbow when sun and rain come together. Ying needs Yang.
Same pattern with serious relationships. There is no jackpot girl or boy. Everyone comes with flaws and baggage. But if you can accept the people as they are, there is a chance for a happy ending ” Shit-Sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes. And
sometimes it’s always worth to leave your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to face your own shit-sandwich. Because we all get served one eventually.
Just make sure you pick one with beetroot spread, argula and tofu 😉