The Ups and Downs of Creatives
YOU ARE NORMAL – IT IS NORMAL!
- Writing can be particularly isolating – get out and find Local Creative movements or find an online community.
- Keep your motivation up. If you’re not excited – then who will be?
- Be brave – look in the mirror and see courage – and if not, repeat the words a few times.
- Find time to put in practise
- and practise what you learn
Look at some great examples (people/work) and aspire, see what achievements they had, do you see yourself having the same?
- Share your own learning experience
- Pass it forward
Then you get to a place you feel you should be and it is all waterfalls and rainbows after that? Wrong.
You keep growing – keep learning – keep failing and succeeding. Many creative areas are like small planetary systems and the orbit around us is called REJECTION – occasionally you see a small opening – shoot for it and make it through to success – and even success comes with a ton more lessons.
Don’t let that put you off wishing for it – in fact wishing for success is your first step towards it – pull it closer towards you.
Be prepared for your confidence to take a knock – and quite often you are the one responsible for throwing such punches.
Be prepared for a lack of self-belief to raise its ugly head from time to time.
Set goals – be clear on what it is you want to achieve and when things go wrong make 1 of 2 decisions;
– kick it to the kerb and try again
– decide that fate has other plans and move in a different direction – fight or flight really – of course it is TRULY something you really want – keep fighting – don’t give up – but set a time limit on the punches (mine was 16 years*, now closer to 13, despite it taking 9 months to find my writing niche).
Right now, especially if I reflect on the past 4 months, there are things that haven’t gone as well as I would have liked. Things that have failed completely (note I say ‘things’ and not I – rejection is not personal) but also there has been success, achievement and a few opportunities I had not dreamt would be on offer this early on the path of my goals.
Of course a certain amount of dream/ambition and perfect working world comes from a place where we seek happiness. If you are serious about making it part of your life/existence you will need to accept that it will be jolly hard work (often not jolly at all) … but if you love what you’re doing it won’t feel like work and when it does and you feel it dragging you down… do what I do and think about what WORK used to mean/be! I can guarantee you are doing better now -right?
Stress(ing) takes up abundant amounts of energy and you may find (if like me you still have paid employment to keep you alive) that this is becoming ever more stressful.
© 2014 Deborah Alma
This year for many reasons (not least that I am finally well enough to do so) I have taken on more career work. The result of this has meant losing writing days – for the first few months this made me angry. Mr G was working away and I wanted to spend my free time with him, not the laptop – and I am glad I did, because we got through it and are now reunited and the laptop can make an appearance at any time without neglect or imbalance occurring.
Looking back considering what a challenging (timewise) writing year it has been so far, I am not doing too badly. There is one major project that I wish I had spent more time on in the New Year, on the flip side although I have inevitably delayed something exciting and forward propelling from happening, I have created new material which wouldn’t have been written in time or possibly would never have existed.
Remember to create some space and time for you to address what’s happening, what you are thinking. What do you want your life to be like? Start with the ideal and work backwards.
What is important to you?
What creative direction would you like to take?
- step out of your comfort zone
- seek new opportunities
- plan and schedule – only say YES if you can do it
- Celebrate the good times and try to acknowledge the bad times, they will often teach valuable lessons. Many times over, usually.
- Remember all those famous people who failed, that we only see the success (which is why I like to blog the fails too). If you have been walking around without an eye on the internet for the past decade and happen to have missed the list and have no clue what I’m talking about…. here are just a few popular examples:
DURING THEIR LIFETIME…
Vincent Van Gogh: sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money.
Emily Dickinson: had fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.
I have (and probably you have) already beaten this in today’s world of publishing.
Theodor Seuss Giesel: 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book.
Steven Spielberg: was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.
Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash.
J. K. Rowling: was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel.
ELVIS PRESLEY got fired after his first show;
“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
Look back – YES
I look through my schedule, which I annotate as I go with highlighters/markers, I know my key: Performing, writing, submitting, publishing etc.
Then I have a system where at the end of the month I write on a small post-it all the MAJOR achievements, that way when I reflect I just look over the 1-12 post-it notes.
Other people keep their TO DO lists in a separate notebook and just look back through these.
It needn’t mean extra work for you, but this reflection will boost your creativity/ output and success in the future.
I have also learnt to let the dips happen, they are a natural (and necessary) part of any creative career. Plus many creative people are likely to suffer depression, anxiety… so let go, give in and feel the rip and pull of the tide until you enjoy it as much as the gentle white horses of the sea covering your feet on the sand.
The best way to deal with it or anything is to
JUST KEEP GOING!
Happy Writing x
* Brief information on my plan = 4 Olympics… all this is training for my first – 2016.