2 Questions to ask before you quit your creative dream
If you at that stage in your creative process where it’s a bit sh*t, I suggest you ask yourself 2 questions before you quit your creative dream.
You might be trying to bring more creativity into your life by doing some type of creative work. You might not be particularly good, or really know what you’re doing but you had this idea, this dream of something great. You may be chasing the feeling of meaning, of being in the flow, where you connect with something bigger than yourself and the daily-ness of your lives. You want to know what you’re here for and you feel our creativity is the link.
Thing is, the meaning and feeling of flow don’t often come straight away when we create. Far from it. Those specific feelings can come after we’ve been creating for a while. But there are so many other creative benefits we can focus on instead. Simply having some alone time is a top benefit.
I am someone who has started many new projects, as I consider myself a multi-passionate entrepreneur. It’s a great feeling starting a new adventure, but the few times I have seen something to the end or at least worked on it for a long time, there have been a whole other set of personal and creative benefits involved.
Benefits like gaining knowledge, insight, self-respect, confidence and pride in myself.
And to be honest, that is why I’m hooked. And they are the reasons I don’t want you to stop trying to do whatever it is you are chasing.
But if you do feel like stopping your current creative project, please ask yourself the following 2 questions:
Here are 2 questions to ask before you quit your creative dream.
Obviously I don’t want to see you quit your creative dream. It’s pretty much what I’m about and what a large chunk of this site’s about. So I’ll try and give you tools and encouragement to keep you going. There are so many misconceptions out there about what it really takes to do consistent creative work, and if you’re struggling, you’re definitely not alone. But I know this: you can reach your creative dream. You can learn to create consistently, and you can learn to take consistent steps toward creating the work and the life you want.
Question 1: what type of creative are you?
Is beauty and design important to you? Do you best remember faces or numbers? Can someone give you a number to remember or do you need to see it to be able to remember it? Do you react to aesthetics?
I am 100% someone who needs to see things to be able to remember them. My hubby can’t even tell me a phone number, out loud. I have to see the numbers for them to register. And when I look at a website I don’t see the content if it’s an ugly website.
Do you need to get your hands dirty? Do you love working with your hands? Are you someone who learns best when the information goes through your hands or body? You could be the type of creative who’d love building, cooking, sewing, making ceramics, knitting or anything else that makes you use your hands and your body. You learn through movement.
So, if what you’re creating now is writing, is there a way you can bring some more movement to your process? You’re moving a fingers a little but maybe that’s not enough. You could set a timer and get up and dance every 15 minutes or so. This, or something similar, could help your creative flow.
Are you disciplined and can write 2000 words a day, come rain or shine? Do you calculate the finishing line? Do you make strategic plans and stick to a schedule, whether you feel like it not?
Then you might be the type of creative that spends a lot of time in your head. Or simply someone who has so much going on that having a strategic plan excites you and motivates you to work.
I always say self-kindness is the best creative tool, and it this type of creative is you, just make sure you push yourself for the right reasons and treat yourself with kindness if you fall of schedule. :-)
Maybe you are the type of creative who follow the creative seasons. There are variations of creative seasons but in my experience they look something like this:
Full of inspiration and energy, on a high.
Followed by a lull. You have no or little energy and feel uninspired and you just want to read, sleep, live slowly and not push yourself.
Energy comes back a little and you slowly get back to work.
And on it goes.
I also believe your creative seasons are a reflection of what your life looks like at any given moment. This is one of the reasons creativity is personal. One person might find it really useful to wake up at 5 am and create an hour before the family gets up. For someone else, it might work much better to stay up an hour later at night because that’s when she feels creatively inspired.
There are no right or wrong way to create. You have to be true to who you are, and how you work best and where in your day you can carve out a little time.
Are you controlled by your emotions? Do you work best when you are in a certain mood?
I once heard about a successful writer who writes this way. She had always heard that to be a successful writer she had to stick to a daily schedule. As she couldn’t do that and for a long time she felt she would never succeed. But she stuck to writing the only way she could. When she felt like it, when she felt the inspiration was ready, and then she’d turn out page after page. And she became hugely successful.
Again, there is no right or wrong way to create. Creativity is personal.
Question 2: Are you being patient enough?
Oh my friend, this is a big one. Are you being patient? Do you expect your work to be easy, good and a success from the get go?
I believe impatience is going to be one of the biggest reasons people quit their dreams along with fear.
My children are growing up with smartphones, social media, gaming and YouTube. They are used to “likes” and instant gratification. Their patient-muscles are not very strong when something is difficult. Impatience breeds frustration and dissatisfation. This is my BIG practice. Learning to be patient enough and trust the process instead of becoming so impatient I quit and start something new.
I have written before about the joys of the creating process, and one of the many skills and benefits you get from engaging in creative work, is patience.
I sometimes think of people like Eric Clapton and other people who have practised for years and years to be as good as they are. Imagine if Clapton had given up playing the guitar! There an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s travel/cook programme about a Japanese sushi cook who now lives in America. I forget his name, but the place he trained was unbelievable to western culture. He worked on cooking rice for 3 YEARS before he was allowed to move onto the fish. Imagine that! Imagine being so particular about the perfection of cooking sushi rice that you had to do it every day for 3 years? That’s a practice in patience.
And just think how good you can become if you stick with your creative work/passion/interest for 3 years? We need to be patient and kind with ourselves.
No, nothing may happen, people won’t like what you do, nobody might buy what you sell, but keep learning. Keep trying. Be patient with yourself and your journey.
You’re worth it! (Hair flicking optional ;-))
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