We’ve all heard of the stereotype of the tormented artist, addicted to alcohol or heroin (or both), struggling financially, slaving over their creative work and never being satisfied, hating their work, and hating themselves. Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Francis Bacon are some of these tormented artists that come to mind. For some of them, their creative struggle led to their early death.
Clichés are only clichés because they’re true, right? Wrong!
What if it doesn’t have to be this way? What if a different approach to creativity is possible? What if, bear with me here, making and putting out your creative work could be fun? *gasp*
This week’s problem in the #perfectionistproblems series is that being a perfectionist, simply put, is just no fun. Getting stuck in your perfectionist tendencies while creating sucks the fun right out of it, doesn’t it? Let’s change the way you view your creativity is a perfectionist struggle.
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PERFECTIONISM AND CREATIVE STRUGGLE
Perfectionism plays a big part in this feeling that so many creatives have: that being a maker and doing creative work is pure torture.
Perfectionism makes it difficult for you to let things go. You notice every flaw, every imperfection. And then you keep working and re-working it to get it just right. You attempt, you clash, you grind, you scramble, and you wrangle. You battle with yourself and with your work. And when you do put your creative work out, you’re never quite satisfied because it could’ve been better. Or you never put your work out there for the world to see. Or… you refuse your calling for creativity because you fear the creative struggle. And that’s tragic to me.
When did creativity become equal to suffering?
When did this become a common notion: that being a creative means being a martyr in the name of art, a hustler for attention and approval (whether in your personal, creative, or business life)?
CREATIVITY = PLAYFULNESS
So, let me put this radical notion in writing: what if you approached your creativity with a sense of playfulness? What if creative work could be FUN? Hallelujah, right! :)
I believe that getting the call to be creative is the same as being called to play.
Make things because you like making things. You’re called to be a maker, so go make. Create whatever you want to create, without restrictions, with any means necessary. Create regardless of outcomes, regardless of the fact that it won’t be perfect, regardless of how your work is received.
Don’t let critics get you down. Don’t let the work weigh too heavily on you. See creating for creating’s sake for what it is: a liberation. Go out and play. Why would you go out and make something when the outcome of it doesn’t matter? The answer is simple. Because it’s fun!
Creativity is supposed to be light, even though it can be frustrating at times. Don’t turn your creative work into a dark struggle of the night. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic this week and I guess it shows in this week’s blog post. So, I need to give credit where it’s due (and please, PLEASE, go and read Big Magic. It’s beyond brilliant!) and quote what Elizabeth Gilbert has to say about creative lightness: “The more lightly you can pass the time, the brighter your existence becomes.”
How you view your creativity is a choice.
My challenge for you this week is to think about which choice YOU want to make: will you approach your creativity from a space of struggle or from a perspective of playfulness?
I know what my choice is. Let’s have some FUN with our creativity this week, shall we? And, if you need a little help dealing with your perfectionism, make sure to download the FREE workbook. Just click the button above.