“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”Kurt Vonnegut
Dancing with creativity is a must whether you’re writing for yourself, for clients, or you’re hiring creatives in your business.
If you’re a person who creates regularly, it’s not always going to work out. Creativity channels will get blocked, you’ll question every bit of your creative talent, and yes – other people will question it too. There will be times when it simply does not work out.
And if you create for a living like I do, when it doesn’t work out, it’s a far more serious situation because there is money and career reputation at stake.
I remember a handful of times much earlier in my career, during the all purpose copywriting years, when, for whatever reason, it simply wasn’t a love match between the work I was producing and what the client had in mind.
These sort of situations at the time can be heartbreaking, scary, frustrating and can leave you feeling helpless. Creativity can be a fickle monster. How fickle and subjective? Look at the dramatic range of reviews on the average Amazon book!
Whether you’re writing for yourself or for clients, much of the time it’s about finding a puzzle piece match between writer and reader. Don’t beat yourself up when the puzzle pieces don’t align. Find the lessons, move on, and above all, keep creating.
I’ve also learned as a professional writer of nearly 20 years that in creativity, as in life, there is always a learning curve. Once the emotions pass and you’re feeling more level-headed and less judged, that’s the time to go back and look at your work and how you can improve next time.
Key phrase – next time. In life and work there are also no “do overs” so obsessing over the rearview mirror and praying for a time machine is neither productive nor emotionally healthy.
I’m now writing directly to my fellow professional creatives. Just because your words aren’t a fit for one particular client situation (or your graphic designs, photographs, or other creative deliverables) – this does not mean that you’re not good at what you do.
Keep learning, keep growing, keep creating. It’s all part of the process. Also realize that creating is THE most subjective and personal type of collaboration that exists. If someone doesn’t like your work, there is such a big slice of that assessment that is personal, biased and sometimes, even unconscious.
This is also an important conversation for those of you who hire creatives. This is why, when hiring a creative professional, make an effort to ensure a love match between your perspectives and to a point, your personalities.
The work that is produced will be a direct reflection of the quality of your partnership on the project. It’s the collaboration that creates the magic. There is no perfect creative superhero out there who can solve all your problems simply because of their incredible talent. It’s a two way street and you both need to be on it together for the length of the project.
Whether you’re creating on your own for yourself and your readers, or you’re creating for a living, or you’re working with creatives as part of your job, we’re all in it together, dancing (and often wrestling) with the fickle monster that is creativity.
Be patient, keep growing and above all – enjoy dancing with creativity!