The late, great comedian George Carlin said “I used call to myself a performer who writes his own material, now I’m a writer who performs his material.” I like that quote. It’s a subtle distinction in definition yet it makes me feel that my own journey as an entertainer is within my power to define.
The hardest part of writing, for me, can be blocking myself from free thought in fear of other people’s perceptions. Fuck ‘em. That’s another sentiment I learned from Carlin: “fuck’em”. It’s a phrase I never grew up with. Dad’s one of those loving inclusive types. He believes in the word of Jesus and that everyone has value in some way. He told me that ignoring someone is one of the most heartless things you could do to a person. That is the type of person he is. But as my life has become entrenched in creativity, “fuck ‘em” has become a very useful creed. It quells many insecurities. It has taught me that I can still have empathy and compassion for others without having to care for their opinions of me and my work. Hmm. I just wrote “me and my work”. Most of the time I don’t consider them separate entities. This singular frame of mind can often inhibit my ability to write what I want. If my creative work is a reflection of my self, then I consider a value judgement of my work to be a value judgement of me. That’s why, in spite of being raised by my Dad’s compassionate outlook on humanity, I’ve learned the defence mechanism of dismissing opinions. It protects me from worrying about how I come across, so I can get on with writing what is forthcoming to me. This is the very reason I want to write; it’s a way to create a mirror to my own mind. I write to see myself.
So as this new year begins I hope to be kind and loving to others, to be a fun and interesting person to be around and to appreciate the positive people in my life. Though, if you ever catch me tapping ideas onto my laptop or scribbling something into a notebook just know what I’m thinking… “fuck ‘em”.