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Fear Is Not Welcome Here...

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Well, I found it. I found a place where fear is not welcome...

... and that's in the creative process.

I've known it inherently for years as a screenwriter, but only recently have I sat and contemplated it and really addressed it intellectually. If you look at great art and literature through the ages, you are not seeing creations completed because the artist was fearful of what society would think, but rather the creations of minds that were free of the constrictions of societal bullshit and herd mentality.

Sure, you can point out lots of art created that represents fears, doubts, oppression and a myriad other negative emotions, but in the actual act of creation, every single time, even those depictions of fear were created from a soul that bravely struck out against the norm.

Personally, like you guys, I've always been fringe. I was the weird kid in high school, the odd thinker, the one who not only thought outside the box, but whom (to my detriment, many times) didn't know there was even a box I should be thinking "in", in the first place.  So for me, fearing what others thought of my work never even came into it as I became a professional writer. I just did what I did and that was that.

But over the years, and the further down my path that I travel, the more I see people who are in the creative business (filmmaking and publishing in particular) who got here by some means I can not even explain. They seem to be consumed with hive mentallity and crowd-think. They cave to every whim and chase popular notions and new trends like heat-seaking missles. Why? Because if everyone else likes something, then it must be good right? Right?

Every single decision that people of this ilk make are based on the human fear response. Fear of what their peers will think of them. Fear that their decision will contradict their boss‘ opinion. Fear that they will be thought of poorly. In a phrase, fear of what others will think of them.

It's a fine way to do business I suppose (thank the heavens I'm not in that world), but in a creative world, it's killer. It kills morale, it creates barriers, it stifles the heart as well as the mind. When you hire someone to be creative, and then you beat them raw with thrashes for taking risk, how do you think they're going to create for you next time?

They're not. They're going to second guess every decision they make, hoping only to toadishly please you and your whim. Why? To be more creative? No. To avoid the caning you've promised them for taking risk.

I've been very fortunate to have worked with some incredibly gifted guides along the way, even as I've heard horror stories (not the fun kind) from my peers. And I think the best advice I can give anyone going into a creative field is, if you want to create great art (and who the hell wants to make mediocre art?) then you have to think freely and put risk out of your mind and heart. Think for yourself. Please your own fancies. Follow your own whims. And leave the crowd-think to those who are limited to it.

Creation comes from love and positive energy. Nothing comes from work that is generated out of fear, except more work, and more fear.

But as you take this less traveled path. Prepare for rejection, derision and mockery. Because that's how society has almost always rewarded its greatest artists during their lifetimes.

Gaudium Per Atrox.

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