Creators create. Writers write. Painters paint. Sculptors sculpt.
They say the journey of an artist, a Creative, is fraught with peril. Is it? I’m writing and creating right now — don’t feel the peril. Not at 4:24 AM on Monday. Not feeling exhilaratingly happy to be up at this hour, but I’m on Navy SEAL time — not necessarily my time. Plus, it doesn’t matter how I feel. I GO. 4:24 AM is what 4:24 AM is.
Yes, that, too, was inspired by a SEAL because he’s right. I create. I create despite what I feel. Just as much as I go and work-out despite what I feel. Doesn’t matter if I want to do it or not — I still go. These actions are completely exclusive to feelings of temporary moods.
The art isn’t going to create itself. The book won’t write itself. The bowl doesn’t throw itself. The kettlebells won’t swing themselves (thankfully). Pullups are not automatable (yet). The strategy / course of action will not set itself. The miles need to be run. The CrossFit circuits performed in 15 minutes. It always falls upon us to do them. Nobody else is going to do it for us. This is good because nobody can do it just like we can. Not like us. Nope. Plus, it gives us reasons to show up for ourselves and for others. Show up for others, especially if you’re a Creative Leader. Your presence is highly valued.
“Ah, not today. I’m not feeling it…”
For some baffling reason, artists and creative types try to talk themselves out of creating a lot. As in, “Ah, not today. I’m not feeling it…I’m feeling more binge Netflix with the bag of Lay’s.” It’s weird. And so Netflix and Lay’s win the rest of that day. Which brings us to the next point: asking yourself who is going to win today? How am I going to show up today? Who needs me on my A-Game today? What’s my performance necessity today? People rely on you. How will you show up for them? This should help toughen you up a bit. Steele you.
#Coming to accept the Creative discomfort you feel.
Another thing that will help to strengthen your mind is to be more accepting of the discomfort you feel. Yes, Creativity often feels uncomfortable. Go with it. Sit with it. Play music despite it. Get to know it better. Meditate on it. Explore it. Yes, the feeling will be uncomfortable. It’s OK. You’ll be OK. Even if it feels like you’re going through a creative shitstorm right now, you’ll be OK. That’s Creative Confidence. Believing in your own ability to creatively figure things out. You got this. You’ve got to believe in your ability to creatively figure things out. Tell yourself over and over and over and over and over again. You will eventually come to believe in it. We’re installing new system software here in your brain. Creative You: 3.0.
There’s no need to pretend the hard feelings are not there. They’re there, alright. It is best that we accept them as they are and get to know them better vs. trying to bat them away. It’s OK that they’re there. We learn to deal with them directly — full on engagement. Yep, it’ll be hard. Yep, it’ll require some courage to act in spite of it. And it will be worth it! 100%. The best part? It’ll get easier the more we do it. It’s just like anything else. Just like pull-ups.
# Never be afraid to Ask For Help.
By the way, if you’re having tremendous difficulty with this, ask for help! Ask. For. Help. Creatives need help just like anyone else. We’re not in this alone. Nobody’s asking you to struggle alone. You’re not alone. You’re a part of a vast Creative Collective. You got the Creative ethos that courses through all our veins and our sound waves, connecting us all via multi-sensory experience. You’re here with us — all of us, together. We are in the struggle together. We are in the Creative Victory together. It feels better to know there are people with you in the struggle, doesn’t it? We struggle together like a bunch a CrossFitters. Asking for help has become my favorite Leadership tenet since so few people seem to want to ask for help when they need it. There’s no need to struggle alone when you’re not alone. No. We go today — together.
# Creative Transport. You take it with you.
Another btw: the whole Creative act should not be a slog. I’m convinced of it. If you find that your Creative act is a nonstop kick in your ass, maybe it’s the wrong form of creative expression for you. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why? Because creativity is transportable: you take it with you wherever you go; you inject it into whatever form of expression you choose. It’s not just one form of creative expression that you excel at (or suck at). It’ll be several. You just have to zoom out from yourself and see yourself succeeding at other creative forms. That’s it. Zoom-out. Zoom-in.
For example, if I am a graphic designer and keenly see the pictures through the words and the word through the pictures, I’ll likely be a great photographer with that same keen eye. I might be a great videographer, too. Maybe I aspire to direct. But maybe I suck at music and will probably never get better there unless I direct my efforts to improve there.
If I’m a great sculptor, I may also be great at metalwork. Modeling malleable metal with my hands. That’s cool.
The thing is this: your creativity knows no bounds. It is up to no one else but you to decide on it, on its vastness. I look at Creativity simply as boundless energy available to us all to tap into. How about that as a solid definition of it: *Creativity is boundless energy*. Available to us all.
Will you tap in?