This evening, I paused while surfing the net when I noticed a young woman with a guitar, playing and singing beside an old black man. I read on to learn that she’s a musician that had been afraid to play before an indifferent public. She overcame her inhibitions, seized the moment and was enriched by it forever after.
This is what Dawn Beyer wrote about the experience:
Today while walking the streets of Las Vegas I did something I’ve always been scared to do… With all the places I’ve played in, and all the people I’ve played for, I’ve always had a fear of singing while people just walked by me like they didn’t have the time to listen… and since I’ve been 11 years old, I’ve never had the guts. This man tonight in Vegas had the most precious spirit and he made me feel comfortable. He let me borrow his guitar, and we just played music. I didn’t notice the people walking by, I only noticed the feeling of being really ALIVE and loving to play my music. It brought me back. Back to what music has always really been about for me. I love to play music. So, walk by, I’ll just keep on singing, because now, I sing for me and for whoever wants to sing along.
I have done quite a lot of professional writing, and enjoyed all of it. In dozens of television commercials, I wrote what was required by the marketing plan. In television episodes and song lyrics, there are producers and precise timing requirements.
Just as Ms Beyer has written, without the burden of external pressures, one’s deeper emotions respond to the impulse to create music, art, and fantasy. My drawing and writing are now more enjoyable to do, and are of better quality. I’m much more prolific as well, now that I do it because it feels good to me, even if nobody ever sees it.
Do for yourself what you like to do, and what you want to do. If you fail to do that, you’re not living your life fulfilling your likes and wants… so you’re just spending time doing what you must, to pay bills and buy groceries. Satisfy yourself at least half the time.