I shave with a straight razor. At first, I thought it was manly and cool — I imagined some amorphous audience watching and admiring my efforts. But there was never anyone there. The cool squad never drove up to give me my prize.
Now it serves as a meditative space. Shaving is a skilled routine, yet it’s the same procedure each time. So this allows me to zone out. A solid block of fifteen to twenty minutes. No distractions.
When I started, and even now, I will nick myself. After all, I am dragging a sharpened piece of steel across my skin! But I can’t fret the cuts. What am I going to do? Not shave? Grow a yeard?
Take any daunting enterprise you might take on. A new novel. Illustrating a graphic novel. Writing songs. The prospect of screwing up is terrifying. Your first inclination is to put it off. Wait till you’re ready.
But those whiskers are growing on your face (or anywhere else you shave). Get shaving. So you’ll cut yourself. Who cares.
Yes, you’ll make mistakes with your art. It may come out looking awful. But at least you’re doing it. Making something.