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August 3, 2013 / austreberto

Creativity VS The Little Hater (aka Doubt)

To help me explain “the little hater,” I am going to have Jay Smooth get into his definition:




This is something that I have been thinking about for awhile now.

I feel like I am in a constant battle against my little hater.  Especially with the journey that I have taken with poetry.  More than 11 years of writing.  While I have come close to stopping at one point, I have continued and pushed myself.  I even quite like the pieces that I write.

But there comes a separation that I have made in how I have approached writing and, even more so, with performing poetry.

Over the years of going to open mics and seeing the same people over and over again, I have noticed a pattern.  When it comes to trying to attain a professional manner in performing poetry, it takes practice.  Lots and lots of practice.  The little hater can sit right on your shoulder and tell you you’re not good enough during this.  I practiced as much as I could.  Being that my attendance to open mics was rare, my practice was limited to being alone.

I remember seeing a particular performer, Rich, I think?  He was good.  Good lord was this man good.  Memorized pieces, perfect stage presence, and everything you see in a pro.  I enjoyed his work a lot, but after awhile… it got boring because he always did the same pieces over and over again.  Which makes sense.  It’s practice.  Great practice, even.  (As it turns out, I learned from a friend that he had been doing the same three pieces since high school… Practice.)

This is where my separation begins.  I don’t think I’ve performed the same poem more than three times, maybe?  I always want to go onto new things.  I love creating.  The satisfaction from writing a new piece is one of kind. This is also where my little hater resides the most.  Every time I write a new poem, I have a small panic in my mind.  I think, oh crap… what’s my next idea going to be?  I do this after every poem.  I believe that I have exhausted my resources and creativity, but I’ve been saying that for years.  11 years into it with hundreds of poems, you’d think I’d learn by now.  There’s ALWAYS something new to write.

And this is where another problem lies that I believe any artist, poetry or otherwise, can relate to.  There is a stress, within yourself or from outside sources, to try and be unique.  It almost comes to a point for me that I think, what’s the point?  everything has been done before… Which is a true statement.  Everything has been done before, at one point or another.  You look at the population of the world, with all its minds and creators.  Chances are, what you have created, that thing you are really proud of, has been done a million times over.  And that’s where the little hater can destroy you.  I wins even before you have done anything.

As a writer, it was a defeating moment when I learned that there were only four original plots.  Man vs Man.  Man vs Nature.  Man vs Self.  And Man vs… Biscuits?  You get the idea.

Everything is just an adaptation of everything else, whether we are aware of it or not, but that’s where I get to tell my little hater to back off.

Sure.  Everything has been done before, but that’s not the point.

This is a journey, unique to us because we’ve never experienced it before.  Who cares if it’s been done before.

This one thing that you’ve created, that probably has been said and done thousands of times before has never been said and done before by YOUR voice.  Don’t let the journey or others take away the enjoyment and experience you may have.

Keep on creating.  Keep on enjoying.  And keep on living.

We’re all in this together.


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