“I just really want people to remember they’re capable of doing everything the people they admire are doing.”—Sophia Amoruso
As some of you know, I have a new book coming out in August. I’ve been pumped about it from word one. But having just left the marketing meeting with Hay House, I’m tingling with excitement and unable to hold it in any longer.
First of all, Hay House is offering all kinds of cool gifts for anybody who preorders it. And second, I truly believe it has the potential to change the world.
It’s called Art & Soul Reloaded and it’s about creativity and spirituality. It’s about making art, yes. But mostly it’s about imagining a new world, about designing a new vision.
Rather than protest and whine about the state of the world today, we must let our frustrations be our muse. We must let our disgruntlements inspire us to sing, to dance, to shout, “This is what we want instead.”
And for those who think they’re not worthy or ready to join the collective force for good, I have two stories that will change your mind.
The first is from Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar Animation Studios. Every project, he says, starts with suck. The first version of Toy Story sucked. They had to start over. The first version of Ratatouille sucked. Once again, back to the drawing board.
What this means is you’re comparing your creations with someone else’s finished project.
“This is the biggest misconception that people have,” Catmull says. “What we’ve found is the first version always sucks. I don’t mean this because I’m self-effacing or that I’m being modest. It mean it in the sense that first versions really do suck.”
The second is a story from Neil Gaiman. Neil is a prolific and very successful author. He has won dozens of awards including the Newberry, the Carnegie and Britain’s Book of the Year. In other words, he’s amazing. His Make Good Art commencement speech has been watched nearly a million times.
In other words, you wouldn’t expect him to suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome, for those lucky enough never to have suffered this psychological phenomenon, is where really cool, really high-achievers chalk up their success to luck or being in the right place at the right time or really anything except their own ability.
He recently blogged about being at some party with a bunch of really accomplished artists and scientists. He was cowering in the corner, feeling like a fraud. Finally, another guy named Neil approached him, mainly because they shared the same name.
Neil Gaiman mentioned to his fellow Neil that he was feeling insecure and out of his league. The other Neil said, “Me, too.”
You’ll never guess who the other Neil was.
It was Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
“And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and did the best job they could, which is all we can really hope for.”
So whatever excuse you’ve given for not following your dream, for not starting on your big idea to save the world, just know you’re in good company and that my new book, which even has a section called You’re in Good Company, is a yearlong apprenticeship for Summoning the Muses and Igniting Your Bold, Audacious, Creative Side. In other words, it’ll inspire you to finally give your gifts.
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the recently released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy.