From Neil Gaiman’s masterful 2012 “Make Good Art” commencement address:
Do the stuff that only you can do.
The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.
The things I’ve done that worked the best were the things I was the least certain about…
That vulnerable feeling—as if you’re opening yourself too much, exposing more than feels safe—is worth the risk.
The best things—love, art, any act of authentic creation or wholehearted kindness—come from that place which seems so fragile but which is actually your singular source of strength.
“Caution is the devil” said William Blake. The resistance within is powerful.
It takes courage. If there was no fear, courage would be pointless. Fear gives you the opportunity to craft a better version of yourself.
Steer into the fear if that’s what it takes to bring out what is best in you, to produce the kind of love and beauty that only you—the one and only you—can ever make.