The Pressure Of Being Creatively Awesome All The Time
As probably anyone reading this post will know, the world lost two creative souls this last week: Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain ... may they rest in peace. I admit, my first reaction was:
WHAT!!?? BUT THEY LIVED SUCH INCREDIBLE LIVES!!
Naive, no?? It's shameful to admit ^^ that, but I think it's hard to not have the initial feeling because us, as viewers, were peering into the lives they allowed us to see ... the lives that media portrayed ... and the 'creativity' they lived for that fed their passions ...
Being a creative business owner is extremely suffocating at times ... if you do a few things awesome-ly and pull something out of your brain, ass, and imagination that people love and want more of, then the voice inside you that says:
YOU HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN ... ONLY THIS TIME, DO IT EVEN BETTER!!!
can scream louder than anyone would like. It's a pressure I feel all the time and the issue I believe we all run into is:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE CAN'T?
The times that I am truly incapable of being amazingly creative are the worst and lowest times in my life ... the combination of:
- needing to be creative in order to make money and pay my bills
- needing to be creative in order to attract new clients
- needing to be creative in order to design new websites
- needing to be creative in order to write blog posts
is a lot too much at times ... and what I find is that I start to 'hide' from other things in order to "save energy" for the creative side of me ... I may decide to:
- avoid my inbox
- avoid my friends
- avoid texts and calls
- avoid being social
- avoid being the best mom I can be
The energy that is forced away from those things I'm hoping will somehow find itself into my creative juices and the rut I'm in will end ... sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't ...
BUT WHEN THE ABOVE THINGS I'VE AVOIDED ARE IGNORED FOR TOO LONG ... STRESS TAKES OVER
... and what happens when stress takes over?? My creativity is affected. It's a cycle that I need and hate all at the same time ... I love my creativity, I love what I can mold with it, I love the successes my clients receive from my creative mind ... but the darker side of all that is what and how it affects
I was talking to one of my clients the other day about the pressure she was under to design pieces for a wedding that nobody was supporting her with ... meaning the details she needed in order to be given the time to allow her creative mind to 'create' wasn't happening. Being creative takes a TEAM a lot of the time ... and beyond that, the team needs to be understanding of what all the other people need in order to do their job best. The 'line' needed to guide everyone to the end product could look something like this:
the client tells the wedding planner what she wants >> the wedding planner then tells the vendor the details and gets that 'professional' everything they need to do their job >> that professional is then allowed a decent amount of time to be creative and design the piece >> should the client just change their mind, the wedding planner should explain to the client the process and why mind changing at the last minute isn't possible >> etc, etc, etc
The issue is, I think a lot of people just assume that talented creatives can just make sh*t happen with ZERO time and ZERO respect for the process. That because they have done it numerous times before and are clearly very talented, they can just drum up whatever, whenever, with very little notice or direction.
AND THAT IS BULLSH*T
It's a hard thing to explain to people ... the creative process ... (as I'm writing this blog post I want and need another word for creative ... haha ... ) ... when someone wants their website RIGHT THEN and needs me to be creative RIGHT NOW ... and I am finding it impossible, it's not acceptable for me to say:
I'M NOT SEEING IT RIGHT NOW ... MAY I HAVE MORE TIME?
It's not hard to see why depression sets in ... why it feels lonely ... why avoidance becomes your best friend ... and how if you already have a side of you that tends to suck you into deep despair ... well, the answer to fixing it can seem impossible to find.
So, Heather, are you saying that only creative professionals feel depression and the pressure of life? DEFINITELY NOT. I don't have any answers here ... or any guesses to what the solution is ... but maybe sharing how I feel on this blog will help just one person who feels the same realize they aren't alone ... that nobody is awesome all the time ... especially me.