It’s amazing how much time you spend consuming things. Food, music, videos, reading, movies and the list goes on. When you make a habit of consuming more than you create you tend to consume even more. The balance shifts. Consumption becomes so heavy that it can be difficult to get yourself to create.
It’s easy to consume. That’s an easy habit to build, but what about building a habit of creating? Why is it different?
Why is creativity so difficult?
The path to creativity needs to be built on a strong focus, attention to detail and the ability to genuinely challenge orthodoxies. – Grayson Perry
With intense quotes like this and impossible standards made by the world around us, it’s easy to give up. What we see as creativity suddenly is only left for the professionals. While my job technically is a creative profession I still pursue many other interests unprofessionally. These other interests are very personal to me. They fulfill me in ways that my job doesn’t always satisfy.
Finding time to do creative activities is an investment. It’s hard to commit to pursuing them in your free time when you want to constantly be amazing at them. The internet easily makes you like a failure when you start comparing your work to everyone else’s.
Don’t let jealousy and comparison stop you from enjoying the time you spend making things.
Creating something gets personal.
Even when I create videos for clients at work I tend to take their criticisms personally. I may not be personally invested into their company with blood, sweat, and tears, but the hours and creative decisions I made in production are important to me. I want them to trust me and believe in my decisions.
I bet you feel that way too.
This is also true in personal work. You want the world to believe in your creativity. Songs you’ve written. Photographs you’ve taken. Anything you make is a part of you.
You have to let criticism be constructive, not destructive of your passion.
The key to growing and continued creation is to understand that not everyone will like your work. Not only that, in 5 years you might not like what you made this year.
You overthink it. Make it and move on.
I used to get hung up on parts of songs I’ve written because I didn’t think they were good enough. I’ve even written blog posts that I thought were way too mediocre for anyone to read. Many of which I still haven not published.
I would stress out about it not being perfect. And then they would die. Never to be seen. A habit of not completing things is not a good habit to build. Being indecisive is even more dangerous. So much time can be wasted in contemplation.
Once you realize that failure is certain, it’s a lot easier to focus on impact instead. – Seth Godin
Going with your gut can save you a lot of time and energy. The truth is half the time you are going to fail at perfection. So why spend so much time waiting to fail? Just fail faster and learn from every single failing moment.
You forget what it means to have the ability create something.
The simple fact that you can make something is blessing. Creating is not about the end products you chase over and over again. The real value in creating something is the path you took to reach it. The steps you take in the creation process teach you so much.
There is a wonderful high you and I breathe in when struggle arises. Solving problems and discovering solutions is what keeps you coming back. It’s why you create.
You create to feel alive. Once in a while the things you create can help you live better.