Nobody is listening to me. Nobody is watching me. Nobody is paying any attention to me at all. And that’s O.K.
It’s O.K. because I’m not doing anything worth paying attention to…yet. These posts are the beginning of a journey, a journey from here to there. I’ve written about the journey once before, but you won’t have read that post yet either. That’s O.K. too.
The hardest part of anything is actually getting started. The hardest part of practicing is picking up your instrument. The hardest part of writing is putting your backside in the chair. The hardest part of painting is standing in front of the canvas and picking up a brush.
I’m starting on a journey from here to there. It’s a journey that involves stepping out from the shadows where I’ve spent so long and allowing myself to be seen. To some people, most people, my journey is irrelevant.
But I know there must be other people out there who are like me, people who are frustrated and scared and paralysed and full of secret guilt that they aren’t chasing their own dreams. I suspect that more people than we could ever know are suffering silently for reasons they don’t truly understand. I want to show them how to break free and start living their own truths — but I can’t teach them things I don’t know.
So yes, this is the beginning of a personal undertaking to overcome all that’s held me back in the past, to create the art I think might be inside me and to share it with the world.
I want to write books and make music, but more than that, I want my journey to become a metaphor for anybody else who is stuck and procrastinating instead of pursuing their passions — regardless of what those passions are.
Until the internet gave everybody a platform, people only got to tell their stories after they’d achieved something. The inevitability of success woven into such stories reduces our ability to relate to the difficulties they encountered along the way. Listening to people who have already achieved their goals talking about the ordeals they endured is like watching a movie when you already know the hero survives — there’s no tension, no risk, no doubt.
At I set out on this journey, there is nothing but tension, risk, and doubt. It is all I feel and there is no guarantee that I’m going to achieve what I have set out to do.
And that’s why I’m documenting the process. Because it really is the beginning. I have no audience, no profile and no work to showcase. I have an embryonic website and a blog with a handful of posts. I have no email subscribers and when I say nobody is paying attention, I’m really not kidding.
Yet I’m glad that I’m taking these first few steps in obscurity, because if I am successful and I want to show people how I did it, I can point right back to the beginning and show them that I really did start from nothing.
The story I’m starting to tell today is not a retrospective, it’s happening now. And regardless of where I end up, you can always be sure that I’m writing and recording this journey as I’m living it.
This is the road from here to there, and if I ever get there then I’ll have left a trail of breadcrumbs for others to follow. But that day is a long way away.
They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and that all journeys are accomplished one step at a time. Today’s step is writing a blog post that I know nobody is going to read yet.
And that’s O.K.
Barry Dallman is a musician, writer and eternal student of the creative process. He is fascinated by the process of personal change and the challenges creative people face in committing to truly meaningful work. He's documenting his own creative struggles in the hopes of inspiring others to pursue what really matters to them.
Why don't we do what we really want to do? Why do we sacrifice our lives to our art - and then hold back from making it? What does it take to make us do the work we were born to do? Why is it so hard to be yourself?
These are the questions I'm trying to answer.
After years of fear and procrastination, I'm on a mission to show my work, fight the little voice that wants to stop me and share what I learn along the way. I'd love you to join me.