A writer? How’s that going to make you any money? Cringe. You think a job is going to fall on your lap? Double cringe. Why can’t you be like everyone else? Triple cringe. If you’re creative and are blessed to be doing what you love everyday, even if it isn’t the most prosperous profession for you yet, then you have probably heard verbal diarrhea similar to this. Even worse, it usually comes from the ones that ought to know better and support you because they know you so darn well. I generally shrug and let the fallible diatribe slide off my heart that now has a non-stick coating.
Here’s what most people fail to comprehend about us creative folk: Our time lapses, different angles for success and disdain for the scrutiny of conventional thinking actually help our process. Negativity is ammunition, so thanks for that. Most of us don’t really care whether you think we’ll be successful or not, nor do we want to be understood and categorized. We simply are too engrossed in knowing that our work adds value to our life and we raise the bar each and every day because we’re constantly meeting our creative goals. For myself, I rendezvous with my intentions at around four in the morning with a half-cup of coffee and papers stuck to my face from passing out on them. These are things that most people don’t know, because whilst in the process of origination we tend to not talk about our progress, the results almost always speak for us. Albeit the procedure may be long, very long but eventually we get there with pomp and splendor.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that not only trust their own creative process but also have a set of guarded principles that are wrapped around them. Collecting various thoughts from my nearest and dearest innovative champions, here are their two bits:
* We don’t mind if you’re nine to fivers so leave us alone please. Your job ends at five with the exception of a few emails and business dinners, ours is twenty-four hours a day and we are always on. Always. Sometimes we don’t eat or sleep and would prefer an IV of coffee attached to our arm. We’re summoned any time, any place by our creative calling and are more than happy to oblige. I remember waking up with a jolt at two-thirty in the morning and writing until seven am, not even realizing where the time went. The same goes for my friend that is a talented website engineer who works all weekends long, forsaking all night partying for late night edits that filter through dawn.
* Don’t ruminate about what others think of your profession because you are lucky enough to have a vocation that’s your passion. When you have that, your contributions to this planet are greater and more inspiring.
* Dream. Our gorgeous earth needs more dreamers, not socially conditioned robots that think they can bring something to the world by a set of pre-conceived notions, usually concocted by a man in an outdated suit.
* Own it. Keep the people that bring negativity at bay, because energy flows beautifully when you surround yourself with individuals that know how to harness it. Make sure that you are solid when it comes to loving and realizing your purpose in life and whom you want around you.
* Never give up. Ever. Just when you think you’re at the brink of throwing in the towel, that’s usually when you get that break in the cloud.
* Have faith. Haters are going to hate, develop some Teflon coating. Let their comments that usually come from their own self-projection, slide right off you.
* Work hard. You work just as hard as someone sitting in an office, or with a set schedule; in fact, when you’re creative you tend to work with even more resilience. So if anyone tells you that you don’t utilize time management well, in the most polite way, flip him or her the bird. No one knows the soul that goes into anything that is based from a creative outlet except for those that live it day in and day out.
* Learn to ignore things. People will call you lazy. Be prepared. All they see is that you’re choosing your own hours and are working in your pajamas with about eight different cups of coffee around you. They won’t notice your bloodshot eyes, the hundred and fifty pages you’ve just written or the fact that you haven’t left your room, office or sofa for the past two days. Even peeing is a rationalization. Shrug and give them an autographed copy of your book when it’s published because you’re kind.
* Brainstorm. Do it all the time with like-minded individuals. Most of my friends and I feed off one another’s energy. Even as an introverted writer I come out of my cave and revel in someone else’s creative vivacity that gives me a wave of inspiration. When you are around people that understand your process you will thrive and you won’t sound kooky by saying. “I love your work energy.” It’s a norm.
* Finally, transcend stodgy artistic tradition; upgrade the old version of conventional creative ideology. Your modern work structure can be resourceful to your colleagues when you shift gears in thinking, it allows unexpected twists and galvanizes others.
If there were a way to hand out doctorates in creative consciousness and artistic integrity there would be an overwhelming number of contenders. Some of us like that our art is what composes us and brings us insurmountable passion, even if we are constantly accused of living a dream. Not stating that there is a set artistic-individual, I know that creativity has many faces in the corporate sphere, what I am saying is that there is a certain honor to go against the grain, to immerse yourself wholly in your art and that shockingly, the back up plan is to have unwavering faith in your abilities. I constantly remind myself that the measure of true success is how much grace I have under fire and more importantly how much fire I have in me to have the grace to surpass my own goals.
– Dedicated to my loved ones that are writers, artists, actors, photographers and dreamers.