The Creative Process is Full of Dread—Here’s What to Do About It

Oh, to be a creative type. Running your own life, creating your own hours, pursuing your passion. You are most productive at midnight? Go out to your shed and paint until the sun rises. Heavy metal gets your creative juices flowing? Blast away.

All that matters is you are doing what you love, filled with creative energy that lights your soul on fire. Everything else falls by the wayside.

[Insert record scratch]. Not exactly.

Turns out that being a creative type is made up of a whole lot of fear. And avoidance. And teaching yourself how to fold clothes like a Marie Kondo champ.

These past 6 months, I have struggled off and on with maintaining focus.

At least this was the case until recently. See, my plan was to write a book. I knew I needed to commit to one project to get my head back on track. I had started feeling like I was floating, like I wasn’t using this time that I’m not working full-time to the best of my ability.

But I knew writing a book would take me several years. And guess what? I need to make money in the meantime.

Life doesn’t stop just because the writing calls.

I’m not abandoning the book project forever. But I am putting it on the back burner. And in the coming weeks, I have some exciting news. I feel like I am finally putting myself first and facing my fears.

And for you? I offer 5 Tips for Staying Sane As a Creative Type:

  1. Understand your worth. Your creations are worth people’s time and attention. Remind yourself that you deserve to be compensated for your work. If you don’t believe it, no one else will.
  2. Google “How to get paid to x.” Seriously. You might be surprised at the results. It might take a while to build a portfolio, but at least you have a tangible goal you are working toward.
  3. Know that you will fail. If failure is engrained into your expectations of what the future will bring (because it will happen), you won’t be as shocked or disappointed when it comes around. Expect it. And come up with backup plans so you are better prepped for it.
  4. Know that failure is good for you. Even if I fail miserably at my newest venture, I have already learned a ton in the last two weeks. I will be much better prepared to start again, to try again. Life is a long journey, and you will learn the most from your mistakes.
  5. Realize that are not your creativity. Go watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk on the creative genius. She says the genius is not within, but is external, borrowed. It decides when it comes to us. Our creativity does not define us. Separating yourself from it will help you to see any setback as less personal.

I deserve to get paid to write. And I think I have figured out a way to do that.

So even though this journey has brought zig zags and headaches, I think I’m about to be where I’m supposed to be. Keep an eye out for my announcement in the next week or two.

Are you a creative type? How do you keep sane? Answer in the comments below.

Until next time,

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