7 Struggles Of Being A Creative Mind In An Uncreative World
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince"
Being creative, while a gift, is also not without struggle.
You have to fight the conventional ideas and be confident enough to break the established molds.
Even in 2015, when we’re supposed to be more enlightened than ever, we still stifle those who are outliers or “weird” or “expressive” or “creative.”
We first need to trust their talents before we hand over the reins because we are wary of anything too “out there.”
Being a creative mind comes with great uncertainty. You’re never sure your ideas will be accepted. You’re unsure if the road ahead will be an easy one, or for that matter, even worth it.
But the silver lining is you are creative enough to overcome these obstacles, to outsmart the competition and to refute the critics.
You have to be resilient. You have to work within your limitations, but also be fearless enough to break them.
The Greats aren’t great because they made unprecedented work. They are Great because they had the fortitude and determination to make their work noticed.
Here are the seven struggles of being a creative mind in an uncreative world:
1. You can’t work on a timeline
Just because you’ve shown up to work doesn’t mean you’re in the right mindset to do any of it. Sometimes you’re in the zone and feeling inspired and can crank out four hours of work in just two; other times you’re not and it’s forced -- and it shows.
The creative process doesn’t work on a schedule. It doesn’t punch into a timesheet. It doesn’t just appear when you want it to, on command, like a prop.
Creativity can strike you at any moment, even in your sleep, which makes it difficult to work on projects that require fast turnarounds or deadlines.
You need time to vibe with a project, immerse yourself in the task at hand and then make something that is worthy.
Art is never really finished, remember that. It’s not a switch you can turn on and off when you get into the office -- it’s part of who you are.
2. Your emotions get tangled up in things
A lot of how you process the world relies heavily on your emotional experiences, but as a society, we’re largely taught that having too many emotions or too many intense feelings are bad things.
It’s hard to separate your feelings from your projects because you like to feel connected to your work.
It's part of the reason you never really feel finished with anything, or that you feel each piece of work you put your hands to is a part of you -- and you need it to be perfect.
It's nearly impossible for you to detach yourself from the process, and it always takes so much out of you.
3. You have your own brand of humor
No one really understands or appreciates it, but that doesn’t really matter. Zero f*cks given. You do you and you’ll be the one to have the last laugh.
You can easily entertain yourself, which also means you're content being on your own and doing what you like best.
Happy hours at the office would be better spent at your place, reading or composing something that fills you more than alcohol. Art is intoxicating and you'd rather get drunk off your creations.
4. You’re always going against the grain
It takes a longer time for people to get onboard with your ideas because they don’t understand them right off the bat. You find yourself defending your beliefs and having to explain yourself to people who have more rigid standards.
You have a different way of doing things that doesn’t always align with the conventional ways of thinking. It might take a while, but people usually come around -- and, by then, you're 10 steps ahead.
5. You don’t what’s “normal” for you
So. Many. Feels!
You experience life very differently than the average person. This makes it hard for you to know what’s right for you when every day you risk feeling like an outsider. You’re constantly bombarded by the fact that you don’t fit the mold.
It’s not about fitting in, it’s about finding what’s the right fit for you.
6. You don’t understand the concept of “titles” and “ladders”
You prefer to climb your own staircase to reach your dreams, not someone else’s. Other people’s definitions of success never quite applied to yours.
You don’t like getting caught up in corporate bullsh*t or meaningless titles that anyone with enough push can attain for him or herself.
You like to be unique and in complete control of your outputs in all aspects of life. Why fall into pace with everyone else when you carve out your own path?
7. Everyone thinks you’re really weird
This isn’t a struggle; this is a quality you pride yourself on. Why try to be someone you’re not? Those who tell you that you are going to fail without reason are jealous of your courage to be true yourself.
Being weird isn’t a bad thing; it means you are different, creative and your own brand.