I'm reading this at the moment, and it's uncanny. Before I'd even finished the first chapter I felt understood.

When I was doing my teaching post grad, voice coaching classes were on offer and I was the only person in our year who didn't need them. I have a strong voice, I can be loud. And I can be outgoing with the right company (and especially when alcohol is involved). But I've always considered those things my armour.

I used to try and tell people when I was younger that I was shy. The laughter from certain people in response to this still hangs in my head. And whilst I know now that shy was the wrong word, there's still a resentment about this expectation to perform; a resentment about being misunderstood and about being led to believe that who I really am wasn't enough; that I had to be something else. There's also a bucket load of other messy stuff thrown in there, and my depression (which started when I was a child) has an awful lot to do with this, but I can't but wonder how more confident and assured I'd feel now had I been the sort who spent less time in their head.

On the work front it's helped me put my finger on what it is about the concept of personal branding that makes me recoil so much. And about why I loathe the whole competitive angle, because creativity isn't a competition, it's a personal journey, and it shouldn't be about how far you can push yourself or how loudly you can shout. And as much as this book has answered an awful lot of questions, it's opened up as many more.

The one thing though that I want to hold onto from this book is the reassurance that who I am and what I'm driven to do is the right thing. There was a great article published earlier in the year by Bill Drummond, his 10 Commandments of Art, and one quote resonates pretty deeply: "Don't stand on the outside looking in; stand on the outside looking further out". Holding onto this thought has been tricky of late; I'm stuck in this worry cycle, feeling weighed down by responsibility, and was starting to think that I'd have to tattoo this quote right across my forehead for the message to sink in. 

The Banksy Official account on Twitter tweeted this image last night, and it kinda brought everything round full circle for me. There really isn't enough value placed on thoughts and ideas, on education or independent thinking. Or on intellectual property or anything intangible.

Our brains are the most valuable things we have.


AuthorWoolly Wormhead