We all live here

You’re not good enough. Everyone around you hates you because you’re lagging behind where they are. Everyone is laughing in secret. You’re a talentless joke. Keep trying, you can’t catch up but it’s funny to watch you fail. I bet you think that’s well done. You fucking joke.

Every day. Every night. The demons come out to play. They whisper and point and giggle and mock as they dance around the room, watching us, hoping to see us flinch, and eventually curl up in despair.

We all live here. We all live in this liminal space between creator and creation. This space that is full of demons. They’re your real friends, they’re tell you. They understand you. The demons know what is truly going on, they swear. It’s not pessimistic, or negative, they’re quite sure. It’s realistic, and shouldn’t be all be realistic about life? The demons laugh and dance and set fires while they paint a picture of the world that isn’t true.

This is what creating is. It’s demon hunting. Creation is an act of rebellion: sometimes against the world, but always against yourself.

Giving into the demons is easy. It will always be easy. Luckily fighting the demons gets easier too, the more you create – but the horrible truth is – you never win a permanent victory, because the demons are you. Those demons are every doubt, every seed planted by yourself and the world around you and they took root. You can’t rid yourself of them. You can’t banish them once and for all. It’s impossible.

But you can learn to laugh at them. You can learn, with time and effort and experience, to know them for what they are: just a speed bump on your road.

Maybe this piece you worked on isn’t what you want (shhh it’ll never be what’s in your head, you’ll always fall short of that and if you’re very lucky you’ll spend a long and fruitful life chasing it down and getting endlessly closer by inches and miles) but the next one will be better. You feel like an imposter, but so does that person you admire sitting next to you – and if they feel like an imposter and you’re sure they aren’t then maybe you aren’t either.

The demons never vanish, but their power is limited. Draw the thing. Write the thing. Do the thing. Create.

With every creation, every act of rebellion, you push yourself and get better. And each time the demons lose power. They’ll never leave you behind, but they can also be made to stop leading you and to follow you, quieter, sullenly gasping out how you suck while you keep moving anyway.

Keep moving. The demons have tiny legs, and you’re faster than they are. Smarter, too.

Keep moving. The demons have a shitty sense of direction, and you know where you want to go.

Keep moving. The demons have nothing new to say, and you are inventing whole worlds.

Keep moving. It’s how we live.

By Adam P. Knave

Adam P. Knave wrote this, but you knew that, since this is his site. That’s kinda how it works.

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