Paul Jarvis

Crisis of Confidence

Feel like a fraud? Like you’re not good enough or that you lack confidence? Like what you make isn’t as good as what other’s make?

Join the club.

What validates the things we create has changed. Gatekeepers are no longer required in the creative process. All you need to do now is share your voice. No record deal, publisher, investor or invite from MoMA required.

But without these gatekeepers we are forced into the unknown by ourselves. To share things without the precognition of how they’ll be regarded by others. And even if we could know this, would it matter?Would knowing that affect what we do positively or negatively?

External validation is nice for the ego, but not required. End games should be more than likes or retweets or cacophonies of “YES”s if what we’re doing is something we’re truly passionate about. Beyond making it a career or garnering fame/agreement. But more to the point of creating what we love because it makes us happy. Because we feel it in our bones that it has to be created and told through our unique lens as part of our story.

The only difference between someone that sticks their neck out by sharing their creativity and a second person who doesn’t is that the first simply did it. They felt that fear that everyone feels before doing something, like pressing “PUBLISH”, and did it anyway.

Most days when I’m writing a book I wake up with a knot in my stomach because I’m afraid. What if my new book isn’t as liked as the last? What if no one buys it? What gives me the right to share my ideas with anyone? How am I an expert when I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m doing most of the time?

I wake up thinking about every single fear I have and how inadequate I feel about my own writing and work. And then I do it anyway.

The unknown scares the shit out of me—and yet, I go there. I’m not braver than anyone else, I just acknowledge my fear and keep moving towards it.

I have a crisis of confidence every time I see a blank page.

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