Psychology, Society

Outsider Thinking


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

I still make excuses for not writing posts on this blog.  Too tired, can’t think of what to say.  It’ll take too long to write, I’ll do it later.

I’ve found though that there is a problem deeper than that.  It’s a common feeling that you don’t deserve to be doing whatever you’re trying to do whether it be writing blogs, books, photography, graphic design, music or making hats.  It’s a kind of outsider thinking – that because you didn’t go to college or university to learn it, because you’re not a professional then you’re just playing, that you’re not part of the group, you’re not a writer or photographer.  It doesn’t matter how many people say that what you do is good the feeling that you shouldn’t be doing it persists, particularly when there are people around who do confirm your beliefs with words like “it’s just a hobby” like your creations can only have value to yourself.  You could even end up doing these things at work for free because you don’t feel your skills are worth any financial reward.

It leads you to read the work of published writers and journalists and so on and think I’m not as good as them.  There are some professions that require professional training but many that don’t, there are many writers and photographers who are entirely self-taught.

You’ll know, or discover whether you are good at what you’re doing the important thing is to not let the outsider thinking prevent you from learning and trying, or valuing what you create.


4 thoughts on “Outsider Thinking

  1. Oh, the nail was hit squarely and driven home with a single stroke of the hammer when you mention words like “it’s just a hobby”. The notion that it is only compensation which inspires artists lives in the hearts of those unwilling to be creative themselves. These folk sniff disdainfully at all our works, thinking that if it hasn’t stood the test of a thousand years, it must not be of any consequence.

    Yet, I find that there is such promise in all the contemporary arts, whether it is the spray painted graffiti on an alleyway wall, instagram photos or the artistic scribblings created by iPad… today’s art scene is more vibrant than at any other time in the history of mankind. This is meaningful because, if one were to think ‘outside of the box’ about it, there has never been a time when the talents of so many can be instantly displayed around the world.

    The time will soon come when creativity, that most basic of all of our talents, will become the harbinger of a new age… so keep on writing, Andy, regardless of those wearing blinders.

    • Thankyou for the encouragement. The compensation side of things is often trotted out as an argument for why creative people create and as you say it’s not the sole reason. And you’re so right about arts right now, there are so many ways to get what you’ve created out there without the need for big-money backers. I agree that we have exciting times ahead creativity wise. I wrote a while back how almost mind-blowing it is to know you’re connecting with people on the other side of the world!

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