Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine speaks truth about self-censorship, self-doubt, perfectionism, procrastination, and creativity:
(Check out his YouTube channel and click around for more of his wit, honesty, compassionate politics — and his adorable cat.)
I particularly like the last bit of the second video — “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources” — which reminds me of the conclusion to Tom Piazza’s essay “Trust the Song” (from Devil Sent the Rain):
A few years ago, while I was attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Saul Bellow came to talk to us for a few days. In addition to a reading, he conducted a workshop and a question-and-answer session. During the Q&A one student asked him about “stealing” from other writers — borrowing techniques, structural ideas, entering other cultural milieus. Bellow smiled wanly and said, “You are entitled to steal anything you are strong enough to carry out.”
All of this, of course, is to psyche yours truly up enough to tell myself: Enough guilt, enough doubt.
The stories in your head are waiting.
Time to get to work.