Creatives week; Day 3
Every creative can see a good photo when they see it, a good writing when they read it and much as this is a good thing, it can be an overwhelming experience for a creative who is just starting out especially simply because there seems to be a void between them and the already established creatives. The pressure to level up seems apparent yet the skills to match that good taste is still wanting causing a massive disconnect which can at times be very frustrating.
Starting out in my writing journey, there are sites I would not dare read because I felt like I would never match up to them yet I badly wanted to get even just a quarter of what they could do. You may call this a very immature response but in turn what it made me do was to work super hard to be somewhere but as well try to map out my own creative path. The thing about creativity is that it only gets better as you keep doing it. I remember reading somewhere that to write better is to write everyday until it becomes an unconscious habit. The key is in consistency. How I wish I could tell you that there is short cut but there isn’t one.
It is day 3 of the creatives week in #WinterABC2021 and today am not here to paint any red roses but to give it to you raw as it is, the struggles that most if not all creatives struggle with on a daily. Being someone who expresses themselves through creative means is amazing and stressful in equal measure.
The struggles we deal with on a daily
- The inspiration wave
The wave of inspiration comes and goes as quickly as lightening. The creative process ranges anywhere from one hour to 8 months or more. If you asked any creative to show you their draft folders you will be shocked. In there you will find amazing ideas that have not lived to see the light of day probably because the wave passed before it could accomplish it’s purpose. To all creatives, inspiration will hit you when you least expect it and often times even in really awkward situations and places. Whenever an idea hits you, please feed that irresistible urge to write it down or sketch it out. Do not suffocate it because it may never come back and if it does I assure you it will be different. Have space in your phone to throw all those things, litter books in your house and do not feel guilty for scribbling away during that meeting even if it is for 2 minutes.
2. Being stuck in a stalemate
The most frustrating thing for a creative is having the urge to create but being unable to think of an idea to start or being in the middle of a project and not being able to make progress. It is the worst place to be. Another fancy way to term it is calling it a creative block. I recently wrote a piece where I acknowledged the fact that I was coming from a writing sabbatical for close to a month and part of me was guilty for it. I was overwhelmed with the encouraging messages I received in regard to my sabbatical. Some of them said things like; “You don’t HAVE to write, and taking a sabbatical is not only ok, I would say it is commendable. Please do not be driven by anything other than your passion for words. Guided by that, may the words flow in truth and impact” “Always good to take a break. Welcome back.” Dear creative, it is okay to take a break. Fill your creative bank first and then serve the dish, you cannot give what you do not have, remember.
3. Creation thieves
As a creative your world comes crashing down whenever someone takes credit for your work or steals your idea. Like I mentioned before, the creative process is amazing but at the same time stressful so when someone decides to rob you of all that hard work, it can be heart ranching and more so if it a person of authority that you can not ‘touch’. When this happens, there is a collection of emotions, first, the feeling of shock which may even getting you rolling in laughter and shortly after, the feeling of anger and disrespect and if you are not strong enough tears may escape your eyes. Find out and make use of copyright, make use of the courts of law if you must.
4. Sudden loss of work
Once I read a tale of a photographer who lost wedding footage of a client when his computer crashed. He tried to retrieve it all in vain landing him in the cells for somedays and there after having to pay a hefty sum in fines. It takes days to emotionally recover when you lose work even when you had just written just a paragraph. Losing work whether through digital or physical means can throw everything off. It helps to double save or even triple save work each time you work. Even on the cloud.
5. Dealing with criticism
When feedback turns out not to be as positive as you hoped, it stings. It feels like a hard slap in the face. It is one thing to know that the piece you created was not that great, so when criticism comes in it does not sting but it is another when you put your heart and soul into a piece only to be rejected by the consumers. It does not matter how well intentioned or helpful negative feedback it is, the feeling is nasty and waking up from that may take you a while.
These are some of the struggles I have been able to single out, please share other struggles that you encounter in your daily life as a creative.