Let’s face it – trying to cultivate a life of creativity requires a certain level of perseverance. It’s not enough to be passionate about it, because passion can fizzle out; it can be affected many different factors. Case in point: I am very much into yarnwork as well as experiencing and writing fiction, but I end up not giving them priority in my life because they’re too damn hard to get into after spending a day at the office.
So I take photos of the cat instead. I wouldn’t call it a creative victory.
There are other reasons, aside from exhaustion, that makes committing to a creative life difficult. For some people, it’s the constant, pervasive assertion by the world at large that “doing art for a living” equals starvation (completely ignoring the fact that there is an art to being a successful businessman or engineer) or that “art should be just a hobby”. For others, it’s the belief that they AREN’T creative in the first place.
But the biggest roadblock, especially for those of us chronic start-and-stoppers, is knowing that we suck. Sure, we know that we need to suck before we get better; but we often get stuck on how inferior our results are compared to our ideals.
I, personally, have started on projects and stopped working on them because they never turn out the way I expect them to. I have lots of pieces curled up in cursive handwriting in my giant pile of notebooks (which mom wants me to throw out – which I will, in turn, never do), hunchback pieces that will never be published anywhere. I take up creative writing/blogging courses, then I let life get in the way or let the talent and progress of other people make me feel inadequate. I have an unfinished granny square afghan sitting in a canvas bag somewhere, and knitting projects that fall by the wayside.
But the darndest thing is that I keep going back to them. It’s what makes me think that this has the potential to be more than a passion for me. This has the makings of a great love which, contrary to popular belief, requires a whole lot of work.
Many of you probably feel the same way
I think we need to be reminded that knowing we aren’t good enough at something we feel strongly about is exactly the reason why we should keep going.
Thankfully, there are many reminders out there. One of them is this video, which my mom shared on Facebook today (thanks, Mom!):
This week, I plan to finish a poem. Next week can be dedicated to an essay or a book review.
What is YOUR creative project for this week? Feel free to share in the comments section!