Home > Main > Hand sitting, inaction, and the fear of purple

Hand sitting, inaction, and the fear of purple

June 25th, 2010

Sometime after birth, when we are all handed our inner voices, the good ones come out to play early. Imagination is strong, fear of the unknown is weak, and self-doubt is certainly dormant. As we learn and grow, the voices come and go and those that don’t need medication to suppress are welcome noise to our day.

I’ve had the good fortune to pal around with some incredibly creative folks lately. I’m continually amazed at how much work people can fit into their lives, but I’m starting to see some common, and unsettling, threads. If self-doubt ¬†were a color and that color were purple, it is the fear of purple that is bringing some of us down.

All artists have a little self-doubt. I give mine a voice. And a name. My doubt is an evil girl in a white church dress and her name is Sarah Johnson. It’s important to recognize it for what it is and learn ways to overcome it without screeching to a creative halt. But doubt can be a good thing. It makes me more critical of my writing and it makes me better. When Sarah talks too loudly or interrupts me, I keep her buzzing on red Twizzlers and she shuts right up.

The point of purple and Sarah and Twizzlers is to learn that it is perfectly natural to phase in and out of periods of self-doubt (hate, loathing, and overuse of hair products are for another post). Embrace it, feed it to keep it quiet, and write (or draw or play or sing or dance) your way around it.

(No, I don’t hate purple, and fear is not a color. Although, pink kittens scare the crap out of me. All characters in this post are purely fictional and mostly invisible. Any likeness to the real Sarah Johnson is mostly unintended.)

Categories: Main