Creative subjects and careers have long been misunderstood and underrated; teaching arts in schools has constantly been under threat, and there’s this weird, unfair view that often comes with it, that it’s an ‘easy’ field. So, it’s no surprise that working in a creative field, people can often lose faith in what they’re doing, and whether it will actually get them anywhere, so how do you keep positive?
First off, take pride in the fact that whether you’re a musician, a songwriter, an actor, an author, a screenwriter or a filmmaker, when it comes down to it there’s a large aspect of individuality to your job and to your projects. Although the powers-that-be often interfere with this in order to market you better, there’s always a good element of you in your work, your style, your approach, your presentation. Be happy that your job, or at least the job you want to go into is one that has far more freedom than many other jobs, where individuality is lost in the autonomous nature of pedantic formatting, and work related dictations of how you work, create and live. Your job is creative, so naturally, it can go anywhere, back to the days where Shakespeare defined the very nature of creativity, by making up thousands of words and using them to an extent where people just straight up accepted them, our fields have been constantly changing. This constant possibility for change means that there will always be room for something different, for your own style to make a powerful entrance.
Another thing to keep you going is that creative projects generally are very influential and inspiring. The chances are whether you’re a small time blogger or a big time musician in the charts, someone will hear, or read something you’ve created and be inspired, which in turn may possibly even improve their life. Of course, its quite daunting to think you could possibly have an impact on someones life, but it’s also something that keeps you improving, and keeps you more ambitious; after all things are always better when they’re done for other people. You’ll know if you’ve read some of my other blog posts that I’ve been hugely inspired and influenced by Hayley Williams (despite the fact im not even a musician) and if I were to ever influence someone as much as she has influenced me I would be incredibly happy. People like her, and Will Smith, Tori Kelly, John Green, Stephen Chbosky etc, y’know people that really look out for their fans, and that strive to do the best by other people, while staying true to themselves, they are the people that truly represent our field. Knowing that you could be like one of those if you got through the difficulty of starting, and persevering is a huge motivator, so if you don’t already have one, find a role model in your field and use them as motivation.
Sometimes you just get stuck, and you lack creativity, your brain has gone blank and you stare at a blank page or canvas and you don’t know what to do. In these cases don’t give up, because the harder a project is the more you’ll be proud of it when it’s finished, and to a good quality. Over the past 3 years or so I’ve been planning, developing and writing a novel, it got to a point at the beginning of this year where I had written around 40,000 words which for anyone that doesn’t know is roughly half a novel (in the Young Adult genre anyway) yet something was wrong. I was struggling with the book, and how to continue it, where I was going with it, how I felt towards the tone of it and I just didn’t know what I was doing with it anymore. When you get to that point, and you truly can’t get past it, you have to start exploring it, why isn’t working? What’s wrong with it? Sometimes the solution is very simple and once you’ve solved it you can carry on, in this case it wasn’t hugely simple. Parts of the book had become too personal for me, and in turn the characters, and the plot began to change course to a different direction than I had intended, sometimes this is good, but for me it meant the novel wasn’t working. It’s important not to give up on these things though, if like me you work on something for a long time, and you have a real passion and connection to it, you’ll find a way. For me, I’ve restarted the novel, but with the same characters, and same basic plot and premise, but I’m just changing the tone quite a bit, and I already feel like it’s gonna be a lot better. So, you see sometimes even when dramatic change like that seems emotional and difficult, it can actually bring a much better perspective on things.
To finish up there are many things that can contribute to a creative individual losing their faith in their projects and in their work, but similarly there are also a multitude of reasons why they should continue. What I’ve listed here – individuality, inspiration and passion – are just a small selection of what, for me, are some of the most important and significant aspects to encouraging me in continuing my journey to a creative career. Wherever you are in your journey, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran, be proud of your creativity, it’s a personality trait and talent that allows you to see the world in a different way and to inspire, so get out there!