Rule #27: Never knowingly be serious – The 11th Doctor
Do you ever struggle with the feeling that if your art/work/life isn’t “serious” (whatever that means), it’s not real? If it’s too fun or silly or playful it’s not legitimate (ouch) and therefore you are not legitimate (double ouch)?
If you have a vicious inner critic like mine, it may whisper—or shout—Puritanical invectives such as “You’re never going to make any money,” and “Play is a waste of time, get back to work!” Inner critics can be really nasty that way.
Maybe you don’t have a vicious Inner Critic, and I sincerely hope you don’t, but perhaps it’s been awhile since you had fun—and took risks—with your art/work/life. In the crash and tumble and Should-ness of the everyday, it’s so easy to let Responsibility and Looking Competent take over and muffle joy. Like too many layers of woolen clothing, life-stuff can pile up and smother us, making us lose our shape and become frumpy and dull.
But the truth is, as Julia Cameron reminds us in The Artist’s Way, our inner artist is a child and needs to play. Muses are always pictured dancing for a reason.
Today, I stood up to my Inner Critic.
See this, you mean old Inner Critic? This is me sticking my fingers in my ears. Besides, I can’t hear you because I’m too busy carving vegetables into Doctor Who memes. So take your stuffy old self for a long walk off a short pier, preferably one with vampire space-fish waiting in the water below.
Here’s a challenge for you, dear reader. Do something silly with your art. Take a chance. Play.
I guarantee your muse will be laughing right along with you.