Monday, March 16, 2009

Fear Itself

I am confident in myself, in my work, but I am occasionally beset with anxiety surrounding my work... particularly during this part of my editing process, the month or 2 before I-95. One kind of anxiety comes from fear that this work is actually no good, it's not successful. I know that's ridiculous but it doesn't prevent me from worrying about it. But there are more real fears that come along side the ones I know can be brushed aside. The fear of criticism is always hovering around for me. I'm very sensitive to negative criticism and it stays with me for a while until I can shake it off. It's bizarre, but the worry is about not getting negative criticism, but a worry that I could potentially be upset by it.

And there's fear that I've misread someone. The worry about having hit a wall with production. The worry about making the right choices.

There's a constant worry about the ethics of using people's images to make my own narrative. That's another anxiety that I know isn't a real problem... I rely on Lynn Bloom, whose moral compass always knows the right direction. There's not a photo I've had a question about that hasn't been run by her and I trust her more than anyone else in the world when it comes to my work.

Then there's the anxiety that I'm too reliant on praise, that critical success weighs too heavily. I love to be lauded. Who doesn't? But it's not the fear of wanting that stroking, it's the fear that critical success will unconsciously interfere with my judgement in making the edit. Of course everything ever weighs in making the edit and whatever has impacted me will work it's way in. My worry is that critical success will cause me to be lazy and not push myself, to rest on laurels or some shit like that.

In a week when some final decisions will be made, when there's not time for this crap, these will all be quelled and I'll be decisive and laser like. But it's the 10 hour, not the 11th, that could drive me to drink.


Lawrence L'Hote said...

...early in my venture into creativity, I, too, had much the same feelings you describe....I stumbled upon a book by Rollo May, 'The Courage to Create'...negatives are normal & expected but they can be dealt with(but you already know that)...


Christopher Paquette said...

sounds totally normal to me..... every word. And I drink it in like artistic wine. (no pun intended)

you are the greatest!

ruben said...

Happy Saint Particks Zoe!
Get some green beer on the way to NYC and give a call if you have time.

Brian said...

You just keep doing exactly as you are and don't stop. Let others worry about those questions for the moment. Your work is full of life and precedent. You've earned it.

Sean said...

Thanks Zoe for putting these thoughts out here. It's easy to think that folks with great work are somehow immune to the doubts and anxiety. You're an inspiration. You bring it back to earth. I like the way you just keep getting it done. Thanks.