The death of shame, yet another possible reason for my newfound songwriting proclivities.
I think every artist fears sharing his work with others at some point in his career. And why not? People can be cruel, even if they don't mean to be. More important, when you've created something and you show it to others, you want them to like it. A lot.
But you fear they won't.
For years, I was paralyzed by this kind of fear, a fear constantly stoked in the furnace of adland. If you've worked as a creative in an agency, you know what I mean. If not, let me illustrate: as an adland creative you are ONLY AS GOOD AS WHAT YOU DID IN THE LAST NANOSECOND, ASSHOLE. Sorry, that's just how it works. If being treated this way bothers you -- as it did me -- tough shit. Asshole.
Okay, I'm exaggerating, ever so slightly, and truth be told, I worked for great people up until the year just before my head injury, so even though the criticism was relentless, I knew it was just part of the job, and I felt like a valuable team player (you know, like an oarsmen on a Viking combat vessel, with no water, under the blazing sun during the day, exposed to bitter cold in the night, eating turtles on occasion, but mostly salted meat, resorting to canibalism on an as-needed basis).
Anyway, getting back to my original point, as an artist (yes, I know that sounds pretentious) I have always feared sharing my creations with others (makes you wonder why I went into advertising). But post-BONK, I am much changed. If I had to pinpoint the one incident that made this change possible, it was peeing in a cup. Not a cup I was holding, mind you, but a cup Catherine (she really is amazing) was holding, because I could not stand up to pee. I had to roll onto my side to do the deed. Several times a day. For several days. Um, there were also occasions when I MIGHT have thrown up (not while peeing) into a larger cup.
On getting home, I needed sponge baths, I needed to use a cane, I routinely went into spastic fits in public places, I threw up, I started therapy, went on anti-depressants, um... there's more, but you get the idea. Nowadays, I really could care less what others think of me, and it has been a huge relief. In fact, I truly believe I am more creative for it, willing to fail where I wasn't before, willing to look like a complete fool, willing to SING for people (rarely), willing to take more chances.
I'm not sure my new shame-free attitude was quite worth a brain injury, but there are positives, as in more songs.