Little Haters Hatin’

Jay Smooth puts words to why I sometimes go days (or weeks) without writing anything here. If you regularly create anything for public consumption, I’m sure you can relate. I don’t actually have writer’s block today; my problem lately is that I have too much to write about and just not enough time to put my thoughts down. But what Jay describes is exactly what caused the demise of my last blog.

Anyway, if you haven’t heard of Jay Smooth, he is definitely someone you ought to know. I’ve posted a transcript below the video.

Transcript of Jay Smooth’s video, “Beating The Little Hater”:

*rap*
Check it
New start, new spirit, new stamina
Same rap, same cat, new camera
Used to rep the hood,
Now I’m on a better block
And you know I’m serious now,
Cuz I’m letterboxed
*rap ends*

Jay Smooth: Ill Doctrine is back. I haven’t done a video in a long time, there’s few reasons for that. Reason Number One: Somehow both my cameras managed to stop working. Reason Number Two: I was busy with my first ever trip to Los Angeles for this big web video event called The Winnies. (Shout out to everybody I met over there). And the other reason I haven’t been doing videos for a while is basically, I don’t always feel like I’m cut out to do this stuff.

I’m sure there’s some people who wake up every day feeling confident that the entire world wants to look at their face and listen to them talk, but I’m not one of those people. When I’m in the groove of getting work done and I feel like I’m making a connection with you guys out there and my ideas are resonating with you, it feels natural to keep showing up and maintain that connection. But if I go too long without putting work in and it feels like that connection is broken, there’s a little voice inside my head that starts playing tricks on me and tries to convince me that the connection was never really there.

I think this is true for all creative people, that we each have a little hater that lives inside our heads and tries to set up traps for us. And the first trap he always sets up for me is perfectionism. Perfectionism – perfec – perfec – perfect – I’m not enunciating it right.

Whenever I go a few days without making a video I start thinking to myself, I need to do something extra special to justify that time away. And then the little hater starts telling me that none of my ideas are good enough to meet that standard. Then I don’t want to work, and I fall into the second trap, which is procrastination.

Procrastination is what they call it when you confuse being busy with being productive. And that’s a trap that’s really hard to avoid when the work that you’re doing involves the internet. Somehow that little hater always manages to convince me that those 25 browser windows I have open are making me productive. And I don’t catch onto the trick until about 48 hours have gone by, and then I realize I haven’t done a video in five days.

And that makes the perfectionism come back and tell me I need to do something even more extra special. Which means it’s twice as impossible to have any ideas that are good enough, so I fall right back into the procrastination trap. Next thing you know I haven’t done a video in like ten days. So then I’m feeling really stupid and guilty for letting myself fall into these traps, and I tell myself I’ve gotta make this stop.

But since I’m feeling like a loser who never gets anything done, I can’t build up the confidence to feel like I should be talking to you in the first place. So the spiral just keeps on going. You see how this works? It’s a conspiracy! All those little haters!

I’m not saying all this to fish for compliments because deep down where it counts, I know that I do good work, and I know that I’m blessed to have a whole bunch of you watching and responding. But I would like to hear from you because I know all of you are creative people too, and I bet you face a lot of the same problems. So what I want you to do is either leave a comment or post in your own blog. Tell us what your little hater sounds like, and what tricks you use to make sure he doesn’t win.

My little hater is about to take an L today because I’m uploading this video, but those little haters are always there waiting for you tomorrow. My fellow creative people of the world, we’ve got to work together on this! It’s us against them, people.

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2 Responses to “Little Haters Hatin’”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Holy crap dude, that is so fucking true. I love that, “little hater.” I feel the same way about my blog, about my stuff on Etsy, making gifts for people, everything! It’s hard to get back to simplification when your brain is telling you “You’ve wasted time doing nothing, so whatever you come up with next better be EXTRA good.”

    And NO ONE sits around reading our blogs going, “Damn. They haven’t written in four days. Whatever comes next better be AWESOME.”

    PS I love you and your blog, and I check it every day but never get upset if you don’t write. Life is life!

    • August Says:

      And NO ONE sits around reading our blogs going, “Damn. They haven’t written in four days. Whatever comes next better be AWESOME.”

      So true. I just need to keep that in mind. Lately I’ve been trying to remember that any day that I write ANYTHING is a good blogging day. I’m almost starting to believe it.

      I love you too, darlin. 🙂

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