Today’s post is meant to motivate people who are not sure if they should follow a creative pursuit to take that leap and see what happens. Let’s debunk a few myths that discourage many from developing their art!
Most if not all of us have a creative power inside that is greater than ourselves. But many people stifle it instead of exploring, limiting themselves to a more ordinary and less inspired life. Still, everybody deserves to experience how great it feels to be able to create something out of nothing. So, today, let’s discuss several very common myths that discourage people from following their creative calling:
- Only widely acknowledged artists are successful
- Only those who make money with their art are real pros
- Only full-time artists create wonderful works
and debunk them!
You have to earn acclaim to be successful
Starting a creative endeavour for the sake of “making it big” is like starting a burger place in your hometown hoping to become the next McDonald’s. No one says you can’t succeed, but the odds are honestly against you – at least, it is the case before you become a true master of the craft, which is said to take at least 10,000 hours of work.
Your motivation will be tested for years after you start developing your creative skill, and you can’t go forward so long if you’re just waiting for the pay-off. Much like relationships where people seek security more than enjoyment from simply being with their partner, you will lose steam mid-way if you are creating for a wrong reason.
The only thing that can carry you through many tough times and failures you are bound to face in the new pursuit is genuine love for what you do. You don’t create for the obscure possibility of being recognised and applauded, you do it for the fun of it, for the inspiration and zest it brings into your everyday life.
And if you become acknowledged down the line, it won’t be truly fulfilling unless you personally feel like you are bringing something wonderful into this world. It’s your own evaluation of what you’re creating that counts. If you think that your art is just fine, but you can do better, you know you need to push forward. And it applies if you are already acknowledged and maybe even paid for your creative work. It’s not about getting massive acknowledgement from the outside world, it’s about feeling you are creating something worthwhile.
You must make money with it
We all need money to survive, but it’s your choice whether you want to make a living with the art you create. While it may feel rewarding to be a “professional …” (fill in the blank – writer, painter, filmmaker, etc.), you will inevitably have to make compromises for your creations to earn commercial success.
If you are ready and willing to accept that your work will be modified by outside forces, such as publishers or producers, with purely selling intent, you can certainly start trying to build a career around your art right now. Another option is to treat your craft purely as a hobby, never trying to turn it into a moneymaker. The middle way could be pitching your art as-is to people who can help you commercialise it, and only allow modifications to an extent that you feel isn’t harmful to the creative project. Whichever way you go, the choice is yours – there are no set rules in this game. Regardless of whether you make money with your craft, you will be able to master it by working hard enough.
You have to dedicate all your time to it
It’s true that without time and effort spend on development, any seed of talent will rot. But because the best creative work is driven by inspiration, you can’t put it into a set schedule. You don’t know if you will be fired up tomorrow at 4pm after tea, so no use making a timetable for something as spontaneous as art. Just like love, when squeezed too tight your inspiration will disappear, leaving you staring at blank canvas in despair. Let it flow as best you can, and enjoy the process of creation – not simply hitting daily targets.
In addition, not everyone has the luxury to dedicate all their life to a creative pursuit. If you are already in mid-thirties, with a few kids on your hands, trading your monthly pay check for an elusive dream of being a full-time artist may not be an option. But it doesn’t mean you should give up hope of creating something bigger than yourself, that will make the world a better place. By all means, if you have a longing for creative self-realisation, find as much time as you can to dedicate to your craft, and take pride in every accomplishment your art leads you to. Even if your endeavour is only one part of your life, out of many, your creative work is as valuable as that of a full-time artist.
I hope this helps you start or continue developing your creativity through any art form you love the most. And if not, here is a quote that may change your mind:
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize winning poetess
Enjoy your journey!
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