Thursday, January 17, 2013

Courageous Creators

Hi peeps,

I wrote this last year when I was having issues with feeling like a failure. Here's my take on the creative process, circa sometime in early 2012. I hope it helps someone!

I have come to the conclusion the creative process is like labor, and not just because it looks a lot easier when you're watching someone else do it on TV.Whether you're writing a book, composing a song, or staring down a gigantic pile of scrap fabric, it is a serious undertaking, something that involves not only your time and energy, but your heart.

Creativity is also like labor because all you want to do sometimes is yell, "EFF, EFF, EFF!".

On top of that, there seems to be an incredible pressure to perform. Not only do you have to create something (which is already hard enough), the final product has to be completely original, awesome, amazing, epic and loved by all who lay eyes on it. And if you're going to expose your "baby" to others, the pressure increases tenfold.

Despite what Pinterest and society tell us, the creative process is more important than the end result or its popularity. The fine-tuning of a melody, deleting your first 12,000 words, ripping out 15 rows of crochet, photographing something just so (and then spending 3 hours editing it) ... that's what makes us love our creations. It's what makes us appreciate the hard, terrible, wonderful experience we've been through ... and survived.

Creativity is a journey, not a destination. The goal is to enjoy this quest, regardless of the popularity or mass appeal of end result. "An essential aspect of creativity," says Edwin Land, "is not being afraid to fail." It doesn't matter how you define "failure", whether it's not getting repins/reposts, not getting published, having someone leave a snarky comment, or not being able to finish a sewing project because you accidentally sewed most of it backwards (not like I've ever done that ... more than nine times).
For you :-)

Put on that imaginary badge of creative courage, peeps. Wear it proudly. You are awesome and there's no need to change that just to please others. Be true to you.

"I can't give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time." ~ Herbert Bayard Swope

In other words, make what you love and do it with courage. To hell with the naysayers. Creativity is hard enough already.

How's that for a pep talk? I feel better.

(cartwheel, cartwheel, back flip, "GOOOOO LIONS!"
flip of ridiculously long blond pony tail, end scene)

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  1. What an awesome piece. It /you/ is so inspiring. Thank you. Thank you !


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