How To Protect Your Creative Spark
Your creative spark must be protected at all costs. Creatives are like diamonds. Rare, beautiful, timeless and resilient. They come in different sizes and with their own unique brilliance. They don’t shine out into the night like stars. Diamonds that cut into hard places with precision, reflect light magnificently and manifest art elegantly.
It’s because they’re so rare they often, whether intentionally or not, find their value grossly underestimated. Creatives are often under-utilised, seen more as sensitive flowers afraid of hard graft. These environments often make keeping the creative spark a war of attrition. Here are a few ways of protecting your all important creative spark…
- Believe In Your Gift No Matter What
- Defend Your Art
- Stand Tall In Any Room
- Create As Often As Possible
- Embrace Your Own Style
- Set Bigger Challenges For Yourself
- Never Give Up
Believing In Your Gift
How many creatives have unshakeable belief in their gifts? How many have gone to a meeting, workshop or interview and allowed others to gnaw away at their confidence? It has happened to the best of us…
You have to build up or maintain a protective aura around your gifts. I don’t mean an aura which bypasses constructive criticism. Specifically, an aura that protects your belief that you are good at what you do, or, improving at a steady clip.
Don’t allow people who have no earthly clue how much creative juice you hold talk you out of believing in your vision. If you’re in a room filled with experienced creatives you look up to and they dismiss you don’t fret. Don’t blame yourself for the insecurities of people you have not provoked. Remember, we all start from somewhere. There is no shame in being a novice in pursuit of becoming a master. Even the most distinguished creatives were once beginners. Additionally, if they can’t show humility from their lofty positions it speaks to a weakness in character you will do well to avoid…
Defend Your Art
Following on from above, you have to be prepared to defend your art. Sometimes it comes easily and you can retort as quickly as the criticisms arise. Other times you don’t necessarily have the answer but you do have the instinct to justify your choice. Don’t let outsiders tell you what is and isn’t relevant to your art. Constructive criticism is welcome but it certainly isn’t guaranteed to be implemented. You may have other ideas and a different vision and that’s perfectly fine. Depending on your reasons for creating and what you have created, there are times when imperfection is deliberate. Don’t ever feel like you have to justify every blemish and minor mistake. Finally, if it’s what you wanted to make, celebrate successfully executing your vision.
Stand Tall In Any Room
In addition to the first two points, this is also about belief in and defence of your art. Even in a room filled with your idols don’t shrink and don’t defer. You have a worthwhile voice/talent that is just as important as anyone else in the room. You stand tall (posture, you don’t need to actually be tall) and you stand proud. If and when an opportunity to speak comes or you’re asked for your opinion, speak like you belong because you certainly do! Humility is important, however, there is no interpretation of humility which says you should allow yourself to be overshadowed unnecessarily. Stand tall like a lamp post!
Create As Often As Possible
If you’ve failed at any point in the past, you may be tempted to give up creating. The old, “It wasn’t any good so I stopped doing it” self fulfilling prophecy. Your skills can’t possibly improve if you leave them unpracticed and un-nurtured. It’s somewhat easier to continue creating after well received work. Other times it’s the complete opposite. In your head you think, “It won’t be as good and I can’t possibly top that. I should just stop now”. Don’t psych yourself out! There is nothing that should fill you with more pride than being able to say, “I am working on the next thing right now!”. If you fail, we all do at some point, make it your habit to bounce back immediately. Finally, keep being the master of your own destiny!
Embrace Your Own Style
Have you ever been in a room where all everyone seems to talk about are their influences and what they’ve styled their work after? Don’t be those guys! It’s great to have material that inspires you but it’s even better to create art which in turn inspires others. Be the person in the room who has heard of the influencers but has carved out their own style simultaneously. Originality will never be overrated. On the other hand, no one likes a copycat…
Set Bigger Challenges
Nothing good ever came from being complacent. As long as you continue pushing yourself creatively, your gift will gain potency. If you did well on your last project, set bigger and more ambitious goals for the next one. If you failed, challenge yourself to get it right on the next one. Divide your goals into small ones you can keep adjusting and big ones that can be achieved via the many small ones. Your creativity will be pushed to new heights. Later projects will undoubtedly benefit down the line. Keep on striving, because striving leads to thriving…
Never Give Up
Sometimes belief in your gift isn’t shared. You might freeze in the moment instead of defending your art. Anxiety might cause you to shrink in a room. Maybe you’ve given up for a while because things haven’t gone so well, or, you’re scared of failure following your success. Maybe your unique style is too out there for your intended audience, they might not be ready. You’re shunned for being different and your big goals have turned into an epic failure.
None of these setbacks are fatal! Especially, if you agree to never give up! Some creatives never receive the praise and success they deserve in their lifetime. That certainly doesn’t mean that giving up would’ve been the smart choice. Develop a relentless mindset. You never know when it is going to happen for you, but, you do know it certainly never will if you give up. In conclusion, take pride in having incomparable art and an iron willed spirit. Your art will get noticed, especially if you consistently produce high quality work.
Thank you once again for continuing to support the content here at Written Mirror. Finally, if you have any advice of your own for protecting your creative spark, please feel free to leave a comment below…
Just to let you know Written Mirror’s content is coming to Apple News shortly for those of you with Apple devices 🙂