2 Questions You Must Ask Before You Give Up Your Creative Work
Don’t give up your creative work!
Just kidding. I can’t tell you what to do.
(But don’t give up, ok?)
So many of us want more creativity in our lives, we want to do creative work, even if we don’t quite know what that is. Maybe we wish to dabble in something arty, or perhaps we just want a little more alone time.
Some of us are chasing the feeling of meaning, of being in flow, where we connect with something bigger than ourselves and the daily-ness of our lives. We want to know what we are here for. And we 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 a while. But there are so many other creative benefits we can focus on instead.
I am someone who has started many new projects, as I consider myself a multipassionate 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:
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?
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.
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?
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?
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:
Getting an idea
Researching your idea
Planning how to bring the idea to life
Working on the idea
Creative chaos - the part in the creative process where it gets really difficult
Stepping away, thinking, sleeping,
Back to work
Shipping - publish - done - bringing your work to the public.
And if you are marketing your work, a new process begins here.
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, 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.
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!
And just think how good you can become if you stick with your creative work/passion/interest.
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 ;-))