I am creating this new blog section to hopefully motivate other creatives as well as remind myself what works to keep the gears moving! We’re meant to move. And a huge part of moving is moving others.
I know how it feels to be stalled. I understand the black hole it can cause those of us who must create. Sure, everyone can create. But many souls NEED to. It’s a puzzle piece we’re constantly questioning, managing, massaging, pillow fighting (and biting) with, often jamming the sucker into place by sheer will, cardboard bent and tattered. But hey, it’s better than that echo chamber of despair.
Till it pops up again. Welcome to the Whack-A-Mole Black Hole. Pizza and root beer are over there. Never mind the Skee-Ball, the tickets aren’t worth much (who needs another lime-green plastic spider?) and besides, you’ll eventually skin yer knuckles. (Snoopy band-aids are expensive and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.)
Why you create is your business. I struggle with that question. That’s not what this post is for. Maybe a future one. Instead, this is about moving forward. It’s about momentum. Maintaining it. Recognizing the triggers that make one doubt, pause, allow fear to sneak in and build up black walls, clamping out the light.
It’s about being true to your creative self, defeating the lies as they come at ya. Win and grin baby!
Here are 5 things I KNOW work to keep me creating. And you are quite likely to be a lot like me if any of the above has you nodding your head. If you are nodding your elbows, that’s far more interesting, and probably makes perfect sense in, say, Riverside, CA.
- Surround your self with awesome people
- Environment is everything. Talent is nuttin’ if it’s drowned out by negativity, poor follow-thru and talk with no walk. Same goes with the people you surround yourself with. Absolutely make friends with other creatives who: keep working, cheer you on, provide constructive criticism and understand to give is to get. And be one for them as well. I’m freakin’ serious about this.
- Do not become a slave to perfectionism.
- The pursuit of excellence should be the goal. Perfect does not exist. Maybe for you. Maybe for one moment it reads or looks “perfect.” But tomorrow it won’t. And the person who sees it next might think it’s fabulous. Another might shrug their shoulders. No one can please everyone. And pleasing ourselves is the hardest. Capture the essence. If you start to smile, you are probably there. If you see a movie that touches you, you forgive the less than perfect parts. And you probably didn’t even notice. By the way, those little imperfections we make? Think of them as part of the journey. If we were perfect, where’d we have to go?
- Practice, even just a little, every day.
- Starting is always the toughest part. Sometimes I just say, “Okay, just 20 minutes. Sigh.” And before I know it, most of the time, it flies by as I get enthralled in what I’m doing. Once in awhile it is a slog, but it’s still worth it. I planted a flag dangit!
- You deserve the time. It is not just hobby, it is something you must do and others need to understand that and they benefit anyways.
- Don’t feel guilty about carving out time to create. It makes you happier, gives you energy and allows you to reflect on the beauty in this world. That transfers over to everything else you do. Your family, friends, other work. You are adding to all those things when you take the time to create. You walk lighter, breath easier and flow better. You become a better environment for others. Garsh! Sounds like a win-winner to me!
- Breath-in. Laugh at yourself. Love the journey.
- There is a epic slab of Asian philosophy about trying too hard or trying to control something and ultimately becoming out of control because of it. When you draw or write, I see no issue with looking at what you did and laughing, “Wow, that sucked! Ha! No more huffing paint before breakfast!” and then diving back in and making it better. Having a sense of whimsy loosens you up and allows you to think clearer. When you draw, you don’t carve out a line in the paper with a tense grip. When you write you don’t beat up the page over each word. You simply take a deep breath, smile and move. Today it might not be fantastic. Tomorrow, after some reflection, some oxygen, time and space, it will. This goes for that dreaded negative feedback. It’s just an opinion. Look for trends and learn (journey, journey, journey), but don’t get hung up on a single poke.
Move. Keep moving. That black hole only exists in your mind. Jump over it triumphantly. Ignore it. Do everything you can to make it give up. And it will. Sure, it might invite itself to your next party, but you’ll understand the triggers – being around the wrong people, or having a funky mindset. It’ll buzz more often than not at that point.
Over time, because you’ve kept at it, THINGS WILL HAPPEN! YOU WILL GET THERE! And THERE will be something you never imagined. That’s the truth.
AND, you’ll find yourself motivating others and back it comes. Nothing mystical or always perfect. It’s just what happens from steady application. Isn’t that cool?
Just over 4 years ago I couldn’t draw. Hadn’t written for nearly two decades. But now I can do both. A few thousand followers later across several social media platforms, actually have sold some stuff, and I will continue to get better and love it. What a gift.
Here’s 500 tickets to spend at the prize booth just for reading this. You would’ve burned through 20 bucks on Skee-ball just to come close to half that. Now you can pluck that thing off the top shelf. An extra dose of motivation.
May The Force (and Momentum) Be With You.