Overview: In this short solo episode (ep 130), Adam Williams digs into why he shares what he creates as a writer, artist, podcaster and so on, even when no one is asking him to. He explores the value of being vulnerable over and over, and facing down the fear. (Released on podcast on Jan. 29, 2023)
EP 130 SHOW NOTES, LINKS & TRANSCRIPT
Podcast cover art & art below: Adam Williams
“Old Rope” by Joe Johnson | joejohnsonsings.com
Original Written Version
I’ve been thinking about why I publicly share the creative work I make, rather than just keep it to myself. Why write and publish on the Humanitou blog, make art and show it, and record solo podcast episodes on podcasts?
This kind of question has come to me in varied forms during the past several years. In June 2018, I published my exploration of “Why Exhibit Art?” on the Humanitou blog. In that post, I came to several reasons for it.
Here was one thought I had at the time and still stand by:
“Exhibiting is sharing, participating, exchanging, learning. Instead of just receiving from the arts, from artists who have the courage to step from the shadows and experience vulnerability in public, it’s giving to that experience. It’s standing with artists in a shared creative experience, energy and understanding.”
I’ve recognized there is a visceral reason for the sharing of what I do, but I have yet to find total clarity for describing the reasoning behind it.
Today, I might have taken a step closer to understanding it, though. My brain called back to something I wrote two years ago, “Why I Sign Everything: The Good, The Bad & The Meh.” Something there resonated.
In that blog post, I wrote this as a reminder of why I put my signature on all my creative work, even in personal journals and on scratch-paper creations, not just on my gallery pieces:
“My signature, or monogram, is a way of honoring the process and the gifts, of honoring the present moment. It’s not the barrier to entry; it’s the badge we earn for even daring to do the work our heart implores us to do.”
I publish what I write and share some of it on the Humanitou podcast, despite the egoic, insecure voice in my head that says, “What makes what you create worth sharing? Why should anyone care about your thoughts on anything?”
I share because I’m called by something intuitive to share. I publish because it feels like an integral part of the creative process. It closes the internal feedback loop and completes the work in a declarative way.
It’s vulnerable to share, and that vulnerability is essential to growth as creators and humans. That vulnerable sharing creates the intersection where we meet others who likewise have summoned the courage to show themselves.
Sharing is a big part of why we create, I think. Most of what I create stays with me. Putting it all out there would be too much to keep up with, even if I wanted to share indiscriminately.
Maybe that raises a question about knowing what to share and what not to. But I’ll just say that’s intuitive, too. Or maybe it’s the mood of the moment or that Mercury is in retrograde, or that I kept creating more and didn’t make time for sharing. Because publishing takes time, too.
The willingness to put forward who we are, to wear our souls on our sleeves and step out to meet the light with our own, feels urgent, required somehow. The fear against doing so is not natural; it’s socialized and talks to us through our egos.
Sharing publicly is a “man in the arena” moment from which I might flinch at times, but always circle back to facing. I can’t not. Expressing myself is at the core of my being, and actually everyone’s, I think, though many have become disconnected from that truth within themselves.
Sometimes I think sharing is mistaken for vanity by those disconnected spirits who now only feel their socialization to censor and shrink themselves into the corner, taught to fear and negate their own voice, their light, their full value.
For me, sharing has something to do with a desire to connect with and between others, and to be a communicator who helps others enter conversations, if only with themselves.
I record solo podcast episodes (versus the conversational ones that primarily shine light on the other person’s perspectives), despite no one telling me the world needs my thoughts, in part because I love the process.
I enjoy recording and editing, creating artwork to go with it, and publishing it into the world where someone might benefit from these vulnerabilities and insights we have in common.
I enjoy the publishing process of writing and photography, whether print or digital, whether for other publications or my own blog. That I get joy from these experiences is reason enough to do these things.
That what I share through my own courage and vulnerability might establish the lines of an intersection where others can meet and share in the experience is pretty great, too.
Had I not published that blog post about why I sign all my creative work two years ago, or the one two-and-a-half years before that, answering for myself why I ought to exhibit my art, I couldn’t have gone back to them and felt the connection with the question I’m pondering now.
What I did then has been a building block in the neverending process of creativity and life. What I publish today will ripple its value as a stepping stone for what lies ahead.
The creative process goes round and round, as it keeps moving forward. The process would be unfulfilled if sharing were not part of it.
[Podcast outro comments added … ]
I’m Adam Williams. Thanks for listening to the Humanitou podcast. And thanks for however you might be sharing it with others, through word of mouth, social media, and by rating and commenting on it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever.
Remember, we’re all Humanitou. I think all we’ve got to do is stay true to that. Stay true, stay human. Stay Humanitou.