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People like me, but will they go with me?
I get the sense that people generally like me. I laugh. I smile. I’m a muppet of a man. I think - with that - comes some tacit support. A shirt purchase here. A ‘like’ and ‘comment’ there. But when it comes down to it: do you really want to follow me?
Somewhere in this lies a dangerous grandiosity. What about my creative work is worthy of following? Do I provide enough value? What does that value even look like?
These questions eat away at the core of me. I have had this sense that - from a young age - if I wasn’t providing some kind of value, my existence was merely just that: an existence. I was taking up space. I was being humored by the people around me, until something I said or did lit a spark in their eyes.
This gnawing feeling, this need to generate content or value for someone else has been a major aspect of most of my life. From making videos, writing books, to making artwork - I have always looked to others to confirm my talent and worth.
Trust the Process?
Every piece of content that I’ve done - barring some random artwork I do periodically - has gone through extensive review processes. Sometimes this has felt like a refinement of my work. Other times, it has felt like stripping every ounce of me out of what I made until the work is unrecognizable as mine. I think a lot of corporate artists probably feel this. But in the end, that process leaves me with a gut feeling that who I am, my instincts, are not enough.1
And the self-talk at this point in the conversation between me, myself, and I is that - if I’m not enough - why on earth would someone want to follow what I do and support the ideas I have to share?
The continuing issue is that, in sharing this self-talk with you, it feels like I’m trying to generate sympathy and pity party points for social media. But what do I do with *all of this*???
I’m having a hard time even considering moving this out of drafts. There are actually quite a few posts that haven’t seen the light of day because I didn’t want to offend someone. Although, what’s worse: offense or ambivalence?
These are the type of posts that whistle in the wind, catching nothing but air, and are just as soon buried by an algorithm that demands novelty and excitement. And what benefit does my anguish and my first world problems amount to to you?
I don’t know, here’s some cuteness to wash down this sludge though!
You’ve Come This Far
I have a not-so-clear path ahead of me in 2024. This is my last year in my thirties. I’m starting to catch the gray hairs; hopefully they have brought wisdom along for the ride. I am a writer and a creative, and I will not apologize for the the things I have to say.
You are still reading this because - at some level - you have a fondness for my writing. Or you like to torture yourself.2 Either way, thank you for sticking it out. There is something I want to say, and it may be hard for me to do so: I need your support. I need you to come along with me on this thing, whatever that may end up being.
I will have a LOT of things to say in the future. Some of them you may not like. But whether you are cheering or jeering, I hope you will stick with me because I am sharing things I truly care about.
What Can You Do?
SUBSCRIBE. A paid subscription would go a long way, but a FREE one is just as much a vote of confidence in me.
SHARE. Share these posts on social media. It really really does make a difference. Comment when I post. It may seem small, but it’s the only way the word gets out.
What Will I Do?
I am working on several things:
the third Department for Mutated Persons book3
a new novel Our Terrible Gods
a non-fiction book centered around my experience in nonprofit / church work over the past 17+ years.
The Between People chats you’ve read thus far.4
For my paid subscribers, I will be hosting chats and listening sessions to talk about things you want to talk about.
Some more writings about mental health, parenting, and leadership.
If you are on board with even a tenth of that, STICK AROUND AND SUBSCRIBE.
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Maybe I’m Kenough… or whatever that Barbie movie is about.
Both of which are perfectly fine things.
The final book in that trilogy.