16. Me, Myself & I (The Link Between Creativity & Individuality)

Creativity is personal. When people don’t like your work, it’s easy to fall into the trap that they don’t like you. But trying to blend in does nothing more than dull the edges of your work. Being yourself is a constant battle. But you have to keep fighting for yourself.

Show Notes:

  • to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night & day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – ee cummings, poet
  • You Are the Hero of Your Own Story – Joseph Campbell

You may not slay a dragon or save the galaxy, but you are the main character of your life.

  • Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself. Life is for Creating Yourself George Bernard Shaw
  • Sometimes the Thing that’s Weird About You is the Thing that’s Cool About You.Maureen Dowd, Journalist
  • Follow Your Inner Moonlight; Don’t Hide the Madness. – Allen Ginsberg, Beat poet, Activist
  • And Those Who Were Dancing Were Thought to be Insane by Those Who Could Not Hear the Music. – Nietzsche
  • Accept Who You Are. Unless You’re a Serial Killer. — Ellen Degeneres
  • Be a Hammer of Fresh Air.
  • I Prefer to Be True to Myself, Even at the Hazard of Incurring the Ridicule of Others, Rather than to be False, and Incur My Own Abhorrence. – Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist
  • Choosing the Freedom to be Uninteresting Never Quite Worked forMe.  — Diane Keaton
  • If You End Up with a Boring Miserable Life Because You Listened to     Your Mom, Your Dad, Your Priest, Or Some Guy on Television Telling You How to Do Your S*#%, Then You Deserve It.  — Frank Zappa, Musician & Activist

Welcome to Episode 16 of Navigating the Fustercluck—a podcast full of snackable insights to help you navigate the love/hate world of creativity.

My name is Wegs, like eggs with a W, joining you from Deaf Mule Studios in Dallas, and whether you work in advertising, design, gaming, fine art, commercial art, content creation, whatever it may be, we’re here to talk about you. You being you. The best you, you can be. The you, you want to be. You got me?

You got into creativity because you have something to say. A point of view that you’re passionate to share with the world.

As blues legend, John Lee Hooker used to say, It’s in you. And it’s just gots to get out.

And for those of you willing to put yourself- and your individuality -out there and on the line, I salute you. I really do.

Because it ain’t easy. As the poet e.e. cummings said…

To Be Nobody But Yourself in a World which is Doing Its Best, Night & Day, to Make You Everybody Else Means to Fight the Hardest Battle which Any Human Being Can Fight; and Never Stop Fighting. 

Keep this in mind. People aren’t against you. They’re for themselves. And they’re usually not in favor of change. Why? Change is scary. Change is work. Change rarely comes without risk. So, don’t take it personally. We all have our own POV and story. As famed mythologist Joseph Campbell stated:

You Are the Hero of Your Own Story

You may not slay a dragon or save the galaxy, but you are the main character of your life.  So, when it’s all said and done, will your memoirs be worth reading?  If they do turn out to be noteworthy, there will have to be some reason why.  Something you felt strongly about.  Something you were willing to fight for, no matter how many obstacles got in your way.

He Who Has a WHY to Live for Can Bear with Almost Any How.

Viktor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor

When you have a Why, you have focus, a purpose– your own personal North Star to guide you through good times and bad.  Your Why is your reason to get out of bed in the morning, and the drive that keeps you up late.  Each of us either has a Why or wants one. It’s your motivation and strength. And the material of which you’ll mold your life. Keep this in mind:

Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself.  Life is for Creating Yourself

— George Bernard Shaw

Your life isn’t hiding behind some tree.  It’s not buried in some treasure chest waiting to be unearthed.  Your life is pretty much what you make of it.  So just what and whom are you creating?  What do you want to do with your life?  And how will you do it?  Like it or not, you are indeed the hero of your own story, fighting for your Why, so you may want to know what you’re up against and where you stand.

And Take Pride in Whatever it is That Makes You Different.  Individuality is What Divides You from the Rest.

As journalist Maureen Dowd says…

Sometimes the Thing that’s Weird About You is the Thing that’s Cool About You. 

Ever been to a Comic-Con, a Renaissance Fair, LeakeyCon, even a superhero movie? Whatever it may be, let your freak flag wave high. Nerd culture is the dominant culture. Then there are those who don’t only reflect the culture, they make the culture. They inject themselves into the culture…Artists like Salvador Dali who said…

I Don’t Do Drugs. I am a Drug. 

Or Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg…

Follow Your Inner Moonlight; Don’t Hide the Madness. 

After all, it was Nietzsche who observed…

And those who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. 

Now I know I’m throwing a lot of quotes at you, an awful lot of quotes, but it takes a lot of positive reinforcement to stand on your own. Take one or two of these that speak to you, hold on to them, and use them as footholds as you figure out how to move forward in creating yourself.

As comedienne Ellen Degeneres says… Accept Who You Are. Unless You’re a Serial Killer. 

Assuming that you’re not a serial killer, keep pushing every day until things become habits. Habits are like exercises that reinforce our muscles. Keep building up habits and you’ll build the muscle to stand strong and stand out from the rest. To be a Hammer of Fresh Air.

You see, you don’t owe it to yourself to be yourself, you owe it to everyone. Quoting George Bernard Shaw again, All Progress Depends On the Unreasonable Man.

The full thought: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

It’s true. You can’t go with the flow and expect to change the world. Won’t happen. Can’t happen. In the snarkily insightful words of Janeane Garofalo…

Taking Into Account the Public’s Regrettable Lack of Taste, it is Incumbent Upon You Not to Fit In.

Choosing the Freedom to be Uninteresting Never Quite Worked for Me. 

— Diane Keaton

Ask yourself what Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison asked himself: What and How Much Had I Lost by Trying to Do Only What Was Expected of Me Instead of What I Myself Had Wished to Do?

These are the lingering regrets that hold us back. Bring us down. Make us miserable. That’s why Coco Chanel was and is right:

The Most Courageous Act Is Still to Think for Yourself.  Aloud.

It’s why great people like the American abolitionist, Frederick Douglass risked his life to stand tall: I Prefer to Be True to Myself, Even at the Hazard of Incurring the Ridicule of Others, Rather than to be False, and Incur My Own Abhorrence. 

As the good doctor, Dr. Seuss himself once said…

Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because of Those Who Mind Don’t Matter and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.

Today You Are You!  That Is Truer than True!   There Is No One Alive Who Is You-er than You!   

Let’s Take a Short Breather… (EXHALE.)

…We’re here at Deaf Mule Studios to remind everyone that this is Navigating the Fustercluck. And I’m Wegs, your world-weary host hoping that you can avoid many of the mistakes I’ve made during my otherwise adventurous career. Now back to the broadcast, and one final thought:

If You End Up with a Boring Miserable Life Because You Listened to Your Mom, Your Dad, Your Priest, Or Some Guy on Television Telling You How to Do Your S*#%, Then You Deserve It.  — Frank Zappa, Musician & Activist

Well, that about wraps up our 16th episode of Navigating the Fustercluck.

Here from Deaf Mule Studios, I’m your host, and quote machine, Wegs, like eggs with a W. Thank you for listening in. Until then, please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter at NavigatingF. Remember, we’re all in this together, so thanks for doing your best to buck the cluck. Here’s to you. Here’s to the future.