I find myself sometimes wanting to do some activity or another but paralyzed by the fear that I won’t be able to. Specifically I feel the need to undergo some kind of intensive training and research regimen before I should start doing anything. I feel especially strongly about this as it relates to graphic design and writing.
It comes from the fact that more than 90% of my life is involved in musical activities for which, by any objective scale, I am extensively trained. I dabble in photoshop and video editing when my projects require it but I am frequently nervous about publishing this work. Do I need two degrees in Adobe Suite before I feel justified in making these things available to the public? Whenever I go to the gym to swim I feel as thought I don’t belong there because I was never a part of a rigorous, coached team and therefore know little about the technique of swimming. Will I have to work with a trainer and take swimming classes for 6 years before I am confident jumping in the pool?
To deal with this feeling, I keep asking myself how much I actually know about anything. How much do any of us know about anything? I still learn things every day about music so how can I distinguish that level of knowledge from anything else? In the grand scheme, I might know almost as much about music as I do about neuroscience (very little).
What I know is that, regardless of how much experience I have, I do music every day. Clearly something has given me confidence over the years to do music but I have a suspicion that it wasn’t all of the books that I have read about it. I grow less nervous about doing musical things because I have done them so much.
Certainly I am not arguing against my education; I am capable of discussing many things with at least the appearance of intelligence because of it. Studies, articles, books, etc. can be a great tool but they can only scratch the surface.
When I grow nervous about running, swimming, graphic designing, or anything else, I just remind myself that I would never have become a musician worth anything if I had never gotten out into the world and done it.
I have to remind myself to just do things.