"Here, I made this," is difficult and frightening
Hey, even the headline is a bummer. The first thing that they teach you at business book/blogging school is that "fun and easy" are the two magic words, followed, I guess, by "dummies." Difficult and frightening are not part of the syllabus.
Alas, the work we're being asked to do now, the emotional labor we're getting paid to do, is frightening. It's frightening to stand up for what we believe in, frightening to do something that might not work, frightening to do something that we have to be responsible for.
Tonight is the first ever Icarus Session, a worldwide event that might just be happening near you (click here to find the local event, and here to find out what it's all about). There are more than 360 communities signed up so far, with thousands of people around the world getting together in small groups to speak up and to support each other.
Two things might hold someone back from sharing the art they've got inside: The fear of telling the truth or the lame strategy of hiding the truth behind a sales pitch.
If you can, find a way to come to a session near you tonight. And if you can find the voice, stand up and tell people what you care about.
Your art is vitally important, and what makes it art is that it is personal, important and fraught with the whiff of failure. This is precisely why it's scarce and thus valuable—it's difficult to stand up and own it and say, "here, I made this." For me, anyway, writing a book is far easier than handing it to someone I care about and asking them to read it.
Here's something you might do today: Go to this site, scroll down and find the laid-out bookmark and print it out. Take the bookmark and write on it. Write down your project, your feelings, the thing you're making--share your art. Tell us your URL if you have one, or draw a picture if you like. And then go to the local bookstore and carefully put the bookmark in a copy of Icarus. (It's great with me if you support your local bookstore by buying something while you're there).
One day, someday, someone will buy the book and find your bookmark. A karmic connection will happen, and you'll be connected to a stranger. Your art will be in the world, and perhaps one day, this stranger, this reader, this fellow traveler will continue the chain, putting her bookmark into someone else's book.
Right now, the urgency is real. We have to create more art, create better art and build more substantial connections.