In my last post, I wrote about the decisions that I had made that have brought me to this point in my life. In it I, also, wrote about the decisions that are being made that will redirect my (and my family’s) path for the coming future as well as the insecurities that I have/am facing as we make this recalibration.

Dealing with insecurities is a reality that most people have to deal with. We only overcome those insecurities through maturity. Maturity comes through growth.

Maturity has nothing to do with getting older. Maturity is simply more time spent on a task or topic, deeper experience and understanding, more depth.

(I am not sure that maturity has nothing to do with getting older, but I agree whole-heartily with the rest.)

Part of that growth is daily use. I most often call this muscle. Muscles are strengthened, hardened, and better equipped the more we use them. Those that exercise often and increase the ability of their muscles are able to utilize them better/longer than those that don’t.

The same is true of writing, drawing, or any other trade that we engage ourselves in. (Yes, there are those that are just talented—the ones that seem to just be able to pick up a tool, what ever it may be, and do incredibly. They are often the excuses that the rest of us use to shy away from our given hopes and dreams.) The more we exercise our art/trade the more we mature it and ourselves. The more we mature, the more confidence we gain. The more confidence we gain, the more we grow in passionate for our trade. The more passion we gain, the more we perfect our art/trade.

When your skills, your understanding, become mature, you will find that although the work may still be difficult, that you make fewer mistakes, start down fewer blind alleys, and that your results are almost uniformly of the quality you seek.

As I have stepped back into this role of artist/writer I have come up against several fears. Among them are the fears of my tools. This may sound silly, but it is a legit fear. For the past ten plus years, whenever I did decide to do some art work it was nearly always digital. Not one hundred percent but mostly. I would sketch it, scan it, and then paint it digitally. Command-Z was my friend. Now, that I have moved back into illustration I am trying to become more traditional—whiteout is my new best friend. I am inking my sketches and trying to learn watercolor. (Yes, I still do paint digitally while I am learning. Though, I doubt I will ever give it up 100%.) The tools are somewhat intimidating. But, I know that once I use them, strengthen myself with them, and become more confident I will look back at my fears as both silly and needed.

Silly, because it is just a pen. My fear comes from making mistakes and having to do it all over again—or from being seen as a terrible artist.

Needed, because it is pushing me to become more acquainted with my tools so that I can overcome the fear.

For the most part, I have applied all of the above to drawing. That is because I am more comfortable as a writer right now. But, many of the same fears apply. Even now as I write this, I am concerned that a better writer will see my flaws.

They will.

There are always better—whatevers—than ourselves. Seeing that, understanding it, and moving on toward my goal means that I am maturing. It is no longer stifling me and killing my desire or my passion.

More than that, you can relax. There’s work to do, but you know how to do it. There are problems to solve, but you’ve solved problems like them before. And if the problems are new, they are interesting, not frightening.

Or as I tell my children:

Practice make stronger. Passion make perfect.