I'm Not Your Drug Dealer 10-29-2022

Hello Friend -

Well, yes. I know. I’m a few hours late with this week’s issue.

But, let me explain…

This weekend, I’ve been dressed up as a murderous camper guy who has been scaring the crap out of people at a haunted house fundraiser.

And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, I haven’t thought about any of my creative projects once!

As a result, I’m a wee bit late in sending out this issue of my newsletter.

But, if you are a creative person, I want to let you in on a secret that will make your life a little more enjoyable…

When it comes to personal projects and creative matters - it’s okay to be late every once in a while.

The world keeps spinning. It really does.

I know there’s a metric pant-load of advice out there that tells you that as someone who creates content you should create an editorial schedule and stick to it - no matter what. Never miss a deadline or a publish date.

“Experts” say that readers/fans are creatures of habit and they expect for your work to be consistent and on-time all the time, as if they are drug addicts looking for the next hit. That giving them the dopamine hit they want or need is a part of being a professional. Your job is to keep the hits coming.

Well, maybe I’m getting a little cranky and contrarian as I grow older, but I’m here to say - I’m not your drug dealer.

I’m a creator who likes working on projects that I enjoy and nothing else. Yes, I’m selfish. I publish my work first and foremost for myself.

The books I write, the newsletter I publish, the poems I scribble, etc. are all personal trophies that I use to remind myself of the creative journey I’ve been on and the things I’ve accomplished.

If by chance (and that’s a big “if”) someone happens to stumble upon one of my works and enjoys it - even better. Welcome to the family.

But the point here is that my creative output is simply the byproduct of a process. The process is what I enjoy. It’s why I create.

Being able to publish and share the results with the world is just a cherry on top of the cake that I’ve already made and have probably already started eating.

Because I like cake.

As the cliche goes - it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Look, I get it. There are all types of creative people out there with a wide spectrum of reasons as to why they do what they do. Yes, some are absolutely in the creative game to make lots of fans and therefore attempt to make a thriving business out of it. Good for them. Go for it. I’m seriously cheering you on.

But that’s not me.

I create because I have to create.

It’s a part of my personal ethos.

It’s my way of exercising my mind.

It’s also a way for me to feel more human.

But, if something comes up that captures my attention so much that I can’t create as much (i.e. scaring the crap out of little kids for money) as I typically do on any given day, week or month then I’m okay with that.

I know the blank page will be there calling me to come back whenever I’m done. It always does.

And I won’t feel guilty about the tangent I took. It’s life’s little twists and turns that make it interesting. As I said before - the world will go on with or without my work.

If you’re a creator who struggles with feelings of guilt and shame because you missed a self-imposed or, even worse, a deadline you feel is on you by the expectations of your audience, I would invite you to consider why you create in the first place.

Life’s too short to allow yourself to be riddled with guilt and shame. Relax.

Now, I must excuse myself as I have another evening of horror and madness to participate in. 😈

🌐 Around the Web

Here are a few links, videos, and sites that I came across this week that I thought you might find interesting.

🔗 Diabetes, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis trace their roots back to the Black Death

🔗 The Story Behind the New 8000 Pound Quartz at the Smithsonian

🔗 Has the C.I.A. Done More Harm Than Good?

🔗 How to Make a Rougelike

🔗 Biblical stories of military events in kingdoms of Israel, Judah really did happen, archaeologists show