Looking beyond your own nose

IMG_0155[1]by Madeline Laughs

Do you ever freely give praise to anyone…without asking for praise for yourself too?

Do you ever get inspired by someone else…without trying to shove your accomplishments right next to theirs a second later?

Do you ever talk about and promote someone else’s work…instead of always talking about your own?

Do you ever look at or consider anything else in this large and vast world…except your own shit?  

I’m guilty of this on occasion.

I get out there overcharged and excited about something I’m doing. I think it’s the best project IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Why isn’t EVERYONE as excited about it as I am? I talk about it and talk about it and put it in front of everyone that draws a breath within 12 inches of me and ask them to LOOK! LOOK! isn’t this the best project in THE WHOLE WORLD?


After years of living on this insensitive, irreverent and dismissive planet I have come to the conclusion that even though I think something is grand, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is grand. It just means I think so.

That’s good enough.

I was fortunate to share my youthfully exuberant years with humble artists and musicians. They taught me to step back a little and to put checks and balances into place for those times when you get your teeth knocked in by critics.

They also taught me to freely give praise to others without seeking reciprocation.

What exactly does that mean?

Why is this important?

To compliment another artist’s work is to truly enjoy the idea they have presented. It is their moment, not yours. Why steal their thunderous applause by stepping into their spotlight? Your moment will come at another time and it is important for you to allow the Universe to organically arrange your time to be praised, or it will mean about as much as the paltry attention you receive by stealing someone else’s stage.

It will mean less than nothing.

Why would you work so hard to create something and not want the full and blossoming limelight shining only on you when that time comes?

They also taught me to be inspired by someone else without using them to gain my own foothold in their world.

What does that mean?

Why is that important?

Some folks think that in order to be successful it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. That’s just not fair! There are people that work and slave and sacrifice their whole lives just to be able to stand proud next to what they’ve made. Why would you encroach even an inch onto the mountain of blood, sweat and righteous tears they have shed in order to be noticed? Isn’t it far better to stand in the masses and clap your hands in the joy of seeing them successful and to know that the way they got there is the road you are already on?

Sure, utilize them as a mentor and seek their guidance, but make your own way.

They taught me to look beyond my own nose and to have humility about my creations. No matter how great I think something is, there might always be something out there that is better. I won’t even realize this if I have isolated myself from other creative beings.

Isolation doesn’t make you a better artist. It makes you ignorant, fearful, insecure and uninformed. If you isolate yourself from others like you then why bother sharing your work at all? Just because you create something without any outside influence doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone else somewhere in the world that’s doing the exact same thing as you.

Their’s just might be better because they get out in the world and they look to be inspired by life.

The best advice I can make about looking beyond your own nose is to have grace and fondly talk about another person’s work every chance you can. Self promotion is one thing, but when you become nothing but self promotion and never have a word to say about anyone else, people will stop listening. Raise someone you believe in up and be grateful that you are able to share your life with another amazing artist.

There is a quiet desperation about always shoving your work in front of people. I feel it every time I write something and click Publish.

Will anyone read it if I don’t cross post it on every single social network available?

Does anyone care about what I have to say?

How will anyone even know I’m writing if I’m not constantly talking about it?

Those questions may always go unanswered, but I will still write.


I will still click Publish and I will still cross post it to every social network available.

I will also make time in my life to praise other’s work and to wait my turn. My day will come and until then I can always write while I wait.


About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Artsy and Poetic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Looking beyond your own nose

  1. wine-whine-whatever says:

    You can still click “Publish” and still cross-post it to every social network available, and if you get very little or no feedback? It doesn’t necessarily impact the validity of what you’ve written. It merely means no one has left a comment.

    You’re a writer. Writers write. So write. And continue to “put it out there.” Please. You nearly always touch someone in an important way. That’s reflected in the many comments you DO get. In fact, I wish your blog had a kind of rating system, so readers who don’t feel the need to comment can check off a number from 1 thru 10 or 1 thru 5 stars or click on an emoticon. Sometimes, I just don’t have a comment but I truly like the entry and have no method of telling you that. Ahh, in a perfect world…Cheers!


  2. wine-whine-whatever says:

    OOPS. I just noticed a place for other bloggers to “like” this post. You just put that there today, right? Nah, I do remember seeing it , I just didn’t remember seeing it. Never mind.


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