A lot of creative people struggle with maintaining the ability to create. They get into ruts and find themselves lost or confused about what to do next. As creatives, most of us have to be our own guides. Since this is the case, losing one’s way from time to time happens to many of us. That said, if you’re a creative who wants to have a sustainable, thriving career it’s essential that you know how to find your way back. If you find yourself experiencing creative funk, here are a few tips to shake em off and get back to doing the good stuff.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what the direction is, simply picking a direction and moving towards it is enough to get the juices flowing again. So dust off that half-baked idea for a screenplay that’s been sitting in your desk. Resurrect that one refrain that was catchy but never made its way into a song. Just do it.
Most creatives tend to think of themselves as the auteurs of some magnum opus, composing great epics and making grand statements. However, that’s often not the best way to make things (it’s stress-inducing too). Instead, start small. Pick an idea that’s capable of being accomplished in one day. Now go out and do it.
Once you’ve made that thing mentioned above take that feeling you had by accomplishing that goal and build upon it. Take those larger works and lofty ambitions and break them down into achievable steps and attainable goals. Get used to completing those achievable steps and build momentum for yourself (while you’re also building belief in your own abilities). *Hint: this is even the way those magnum opi get made!
Don’t Waste Time
A lack of accountability is the real destroyer of so many creative people’s dreams. Spending those 10,000 hours at your craft has to be part of your life every single day. Build the fortitude it takes to work hard creating stuff. Sure, you may not come from a family who understands your pursuits, your friends and significant others might even balk at you. At times you may feel downright lonesome, misunderstood, and just about as down in a funk as you’ve ever been. But you will have your art and that’s much greater than being just another creative full of hot air. Don’t waste your time. It is not limitless. So regulate your TV consumption, curb the time you spend online, sucked up in useless activities. Instead, invest in your art, your craft, your desire. And if no one else understands why you spend so much time making your art, your music, your stories, then know this: many an artist has and does feel just the way you do. Persist knowing there’s only one road to success (it’s called Hard Work).
The moment you set a goal, it’s real. It’s not just something you want to do, it’s something you’re going to do. So set achievable goals and then don’t turn yourself into a liar. This stuff matters. Letting yourself down bears a penalty when it comes to your confidence and personal accountablity as an artist. So, pick good, achievable goals and complete them.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Learning from one’s mistakes may not sound very fun but it’s actually an essential part of any successful creative’s course. When we have the ability to step back and look at where we went wrong or didn’t do as well as we could have, we open up space for new discoveries, new solutions and the attainment of better skills and practices. Don’t brow beat yourself. Instead look into the how’s and why’s of your mistakes and seek improvement along the way.
Measure Your Progress
Creatives are often so caught up in the doing of their art that they fail to really look back and see where they started and in so doing, recognize how far they’ve come. Seeing how far you’ve come can get you super inspired for the journey ahead. Just think of the perspective you’ll have a year from now once that big project is under your belt. Think of all you will have learned by then! Flinch-inducing as it can be, remember your early days of just starting out. Remember your naïvety and grow wise in knowing being a creator requires constant output and constant input and growth.
Embrace the journey! Do good work!
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Learn from working filmmakers and professional screenwriters at FilmConnection.com.