MMA Fighter, Writer, and Performer Ramsey Dewey on Creative Worry

It’s not every day you meet a true renaissance man like Ramsey Dewey. I have admired how this guy minored in Health & Human Performance (Modern Dance emphasis) in college, ran a boxing gym, moved to Shanghai to become a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, and continues to teach the sport.

Awesome!!! Ramsey’s the one in the white shirt:

Ramsey 2

Also a writer and performer, Ramsey has a unique perspective on artistic or work-related worry. When I recently asked friends to contribute how they manage creative worry, he had so many good insights that they merited their own blog post. Read more on this topic in my series of posts about creative and general worry:

Without further ado, here are ways Ramsey “Danger” Dewey stays effective and productive. You’re in for a treat!

Seeing Oneself as an Authority

“When was the last time I could remember worry or anxiety associated with creativity? I suppose any creative process with a time limit or deadline would qualify- or the worry and anxiety associated with sharing a creation of some kind with an audience.

One thing I have done in the past is to create the illusion that I know what I’m doing, that I’m an authority on the subject, and that nothing else is more interesting or important than what I have created. Even if it’s a stretch, until you can convince yourself of your awesomeness, it’ll be difficult to sell anyone else on the idea.”

 

Ramsey 1

Forcing Oneself to Face the Fear

“I used to have a crippling case of stage fright- actually, I couldn’t even talk to people on a one on one basis. It took years to overcome. Probably the most important thing I did was to put myself in the spotlight at every opportunity, forcing myself to experience stage fright again, and again, and again until either I became numb to it, or I realized it was just some abstract concept that doesn’t even exist and certainly didn’t control me.”

Nice, right?! You can see why Ramsey is so cool. He’s stinkin resilient!

Caring Less What Others Think

“I wrote a novel once, and published it online chapter by chapter. I didn’t get worried or anxious about anyone’s approval because I didn’t invest myself emotionally in the story. I kept telling myself it was just a stupid story I was making up in my head at work to pass the time, then quickly typing as soon as I got home before I could forget it.

But then one day, some random stranger on the internet told me that she really liked one of the characters and wished that I would write more about him. That kind of blew my mind. Suddenly I went from creating a stupid story with characters I didn’t even care about, to feeling a responsibility to my readers. After writing several new chapters with this new found anxiety, I received another message from a different stranger telling me that my novel had changed and it wasn’t as good as it used to be.

Oh the irony that when I started to care, it started to suck.”

As I read through Ramsey’s thoughts on this, I could see the intersection of sports psychology and creative or performance psychology, which was a fun way to think about staying productive as a writer or any other kind of artist. Feel free to leave your experiences in a comment!

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