I’ve met thousands of people doing incredible stuff. So have you. They’re idea shapers, music makers, problem solvers, content creators, people specialists, writers, visionaries and deal makers. They see things. They come up with new realities. They shape things. If you’re taking six minutes to read this you’re probably a creative human who wants to impact others. Keep reading.
One of the most tragic things I witness are all the ideas I hear about but never see. Most ideas don’t become realities, because most people quit before they can. This quitting fad isn’t bound to one area of creativity; it’s a human issue. I discuss this in my book Everyone’s a Genius , but Steven Pressfield plumbs the depths of this topic in his classic The War of Art.
Here are the most commons reasons I witness creatives becoming ex-creatives…
Inflated expectations lead us to believe, “I’m not making a difference”
Choosing the urgent over the important wear us down as we resign, “Life is too busy”
Impatience for the payoff defeats us as we think, “It’ll never work”
The memory of failure stings as our ego whispers, “I don’t want to experience that again!”
The weight of success pulls on us as we anxiously believe, “I’ll have to produce THAT again”
Our lack of process makes us believe, “It’s just too hard!”
Unhealthy living wears us out as we utter, “I’m so tired”
Ceasing to dedicate creative time convinces us, “I don’t have time”
But there’s good news. If we understand the struggle we can fight it. If we describe the monster under the bed it’s not as scary anymore. In Art and Fear Bayles and Ortlund say, “Something about making art has to do with overcoming things”. Here are some ways to fight the battle and continue creating.
Fight inflated expectations with realistic ones.
Fight the urgent by prioritizing creative pursuits as wildly important.
Fight impatience by continuing to create weekly.
Fight failure memory by sharing your fears with other creatives.
Fight success fear by getting behind the curtain of successful creatives.
Fight lack of process by designing and committing to your creative process.
Fight unhealth by pursuing health in all major areas (it trickles down!)
Fight loss of creative time by blocking time every week.