Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Going Rogue

I've half-made a few resolutions in my head. You know, the kind you don't really want to make because you suspect there will a time when you really want to break them, and if you never made them, then you're not really breaking them, right?

One resolution that I did make is to write all of The Creative Collective (see the bottom of this post for more info) posts that I missed over the past year. The problem is that part of the reason I missed the posts is that I didn't have anything to say about the topic. Creativity: challenged.

My first make-up topic is "Where no one else has gone before." I think the reason I avoided this topic is because it alludes to something I have a bit of an issue with: being unique. I've somehow grown into quite the little realist. Not sure how that happened. Maybe I was always this way. In any case, I'm discovering that it's a help and a hindrance.

I like being realistic because it gives me a certain confidence. If I have a project in front of me, I'm pretty good at discerning what needs to happen in order for it to be completed well. I can be a visionary, but I'm inhibited by what I can actually see coming to pass in my brain - nuts and bolts and all.

I don't like being realistic because it makes risk difficult when something important is at stake. I can see, all too well, every reason a thing wont work.

For instance, over the past several months, and more-so since being laid off, I've been pursuing some entrepreneurial projects. The idea was, if no one was going to hire me to do something important, I'd just have to hire myself.

The problem is, there is a lot of risk involved in these types of things. It's less the financial risk that I'm concerned about, and more the risk of being made a fool. If I put any real faith in these projects and they fail, then I will have been unwise and wrong, and I don't like to be unwise and wrong.

I understand that failure at this sort of thing isn't really failure, it's invaluable learning experience, blah blah blah, but that doesn't really make me feel any better. I like to be right and I like to succeed.

So, I move forward, because it's what I want to do, but pretty regularly I have this unpleasant discussion in my head that's similar to two parents discussing whether or not to let their 5'1" asthmatic son try out for the NBA.

"He'll just be crushed."

"I know, but we have to let him try."

Depressing, right?

Yes. But every time I feel as discouraged as can be, something tiny happens: a kind word or a small success, and I'm back in the game. I hear this is what being a rogue professional is like, so I guess that's a good sign.

Old photo of me looking triumphant:

This post was written, though very tardily, as part of a blogging game. The players are The Creative Collective, and here are their thoughts on "Where no one else has gone before."

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