I’m noticing another pattern and this one is really scaring the shit out of me. I’m seeing a world full of amazingly talented and creative people, yet many of them feel like they need something outside of themselves to be complete, whole, and creatively successful. In effect, we’ve been so persuaded by outside influences (i.e. advertising, family, friends, etc) over the years, that we are actually believing it to the point that we feel like we’re worthless without some “external” thing to support us.
Part of the problem here is that again we’ve bred this culture of instant gratification in ourselves and thus we expect creative success to be immediate (i.e. within a month). Yet this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Creativity and design is an iterative process of many layers (applying and/or removing). Sure you may see the creative emergence of someone thinking “Wow, look at they did. I can do that too!” But what you don’t often see is the months or years of work building a creative foundation that slowly but naturally elevated them to success. So sure inspiration is great for making you realize something and giving you the courage to step out on that limb but persistence and dedication is what is needed for you to achieve your dreams.
Another problem that relates to this is that people seem to think that if they aren’t making money off of their creativity, then there is no point in being creative. This is a surefire way to kill your creative spirit and your soul in the process. Be real creative in everything you do, no matter if it’s for professional or personal reasons. Actually, as I’ve seen in the past, often times when you are doing something creative for yourself, that’s when it often evolves and leads into something for others. In effect, when you put the time, effort, and care into creating something worthwhile for yourself that’s when others see how great is and want it for themselves as well. So if anything, follow your personal creative passions, even if no one sees what you’re doing initially because not only does it allow you to creatively express your authentic self but it could lead to a creative emergence of something that others are attracted to as well.
Here’s some quick examples of what I mean by the above within my own life. When I was younger, I used to be amazing at drawing. Later in my early twenties, I composed my own music. Years later getting into my mid life, while I felt I would like to get back into drawing and music, I always felt like 1) I wasn’t good enough or 2) why bother because I couldn’t make any money off of it. Now I realize how stupid this thinking was for me. I don’t care how good I am now. I only care that I’ve found other mediums to express myself creatively, even if only for myself initially. Over time, when I feel like I’ve mastered it enough, then I’ll probably start sharing it with others and who knows what will arise out of it. So now, I’m starting to play around with composing music again. Soon, I hope to start drawing as well. Again, I know it will be an iterative experience that will take time but the benefit is that it lets me keep my creative and authentic energies flowing and also adds diversity to my life that could lead to the emergence of something down the road.