Honor your own process. That’s one thing Anthony Bourdain has learned. He said,
“I don’t care if my mom approves. … Look, if I’ve learned anything—I wrote Kitchen Confidential because I didn’t think anyone would read it. That was a liberating moment. You know, writing every morning before I went to work with absolute certainty that no one other than a few cooks would read it was a truly liberating place to write a book. That was a lesson I learned in the bone, meaning the instinct to think about what do they want—What do they expect? What do my biggest fans want me to do next? How will they receive it? Who’s watching? Who’s reading?—this is a lethal, lethal instinct. I have to not think that. We all want to be loved, but I’m not going to even ask what people want, because… that will kill your process.
I just can’t. That’s the road to madness.”
This reminds me of Carl Jung, who never expected anyone to be interested in his writings. He freely wrote from his heart and soul, and achieved widespread fame for it. I’m grateful for his work.
That doesn’t mean we never ask what others want, or that honoring our own process always leads to outer success. It does mean that allowing your own voice to unfold somewhere in your life is transformational. It’s important to have expressive outlets that truly are just for you. You know more than you know you know, if you take the time to listen – and are willing to risk creating something no one else values or pays attention to.