Keep your creative plans secret until they are completed.
This is a tough one and, though I believe in it and will explain why, it is a hard one for me to do.
The main reason you should attempt to keep your creative plans secret until you have completed them is because if you tell them to other people they will, no matter how well meaning they are, offer their opinion on your plans. You will get no end to unsolicited feedback on your idea.
“That’s a great idea!” they’ll inevitably start, but then they’ll continue, “You know what you should do…”
Now if the sentence above is coming from someone you admire or respect or whom you are asking for advice, that’s fine. If you admire or respect them or asked for their advice, that’s great, listen to their suggestions. Remember, though, these are suggestions.
The focus of this entry is about telling friends, peers, family about your plans. These folks like (love) and respect you and they think they’ll be helping you out by offering their advice. What happens then is that once you begin creating your art, the ‘advice’ that these people starts creeping into your head and you begin second guessing yourself.
“Maybe so and so was right. Maybe I should do it their way instead of the way I had planned.”
This becomes dangerous because suddenly the your art is not your own. It has become a community project. Nothing against community projects, they are great, but this is YOUR art project.
This is the number one reason I try to keep my ideas to myself. Notice I say try. It’s extremely hard to do. The main reason for blabbing is I get really excited about an idea and I want to share it with the world. I need to realize that it’ll be much better (and save me much second guessing) if I tell people after it’s done. Or better yet, show them. Writers often say ‘show don’t tell.’ I think that’s a great bit of advice that all artists can take about their own work. Get it done and THEN show somebody.
Another reason to keep mum about a project is because sometimes I talk so much about a project I never really get around to actually working on it. I know it sounds weird, but there’s something in the brain that will trick you into thinking, “Well I’ve talked about it so much, I must have done it.” When, in actuality, you haven’t done anything. Almost as if a little bit of the creative desire in you escapes each time you say something about it until you have no creative desire left to work on the project.
Finally, there is the thought of sharing your ideas with others before you do them and then someone steals your idea. I don’t think this happens as much as people are afraid it does, but it does happen, so it’s another good reason to just keep quiet about your project.
As artists, our main drive in life is to create something and then share it with the world. We should just think twice about sharing them before we’ve even begun creating them.
Do you fall into the same pitfalls as me and blab your project to everyone around you? Or do you thrive on getting other people’s opinions about your project? Let me know in the comments below.
Tags : art, artist, artists, create, creating, creative, painting, plans, sculptor, secret, writer, writing
It is the start of a new year and so time to pick three new words I’m going to attempt to focus on in my life for 2014. This is a practice I picked up from C.C. Chapman‘s book Amazing Things WIll Happen.
Last year my three words were Create. Rebuild. Live. I would say out of those three I hit Create the hardest. I certainly was not wanting for creative projects to occupy my time. The Live focus also got some attention this year, but not nearly enough as I would have liked. The Rebuild portion was a hard one. Rebuilding relationships often takes more than one person and, despite efforts, I was not always successful in this arena, though small steps were made.
But those were the words for last year, it’s time to focus on the words for this year.
Health. A lot of people make the old Heath resolution in January and it falls by the wayside weeks later. Back in October, I focused on health for 20 days and it worked. Not only that, it was easy. But then I went to Toronto and instead of keeping going it all flew out the window. Any gains I made were lost. And then some.
So for 2014 I have a goal of taking better care of my self. Yes, this includes eating right, exercising and losing weight, but it means more than just that.
Sleep. My sleep in 2013 was horrible. Most nights I’d go to bed after 1am then I’d be awake at 5am or earlier and just be completely unable to fall back asleep. Usually because my brain starts going a million miles per hour. As part of the word ‘Health’ for 2014, I need to discover why this happens and work on ways to make sure it stops happening.
Health also includes mental health. Over the past year I have been, semi-regularly, seeing therapist. I’ve been to two different ones over the course of the year looking for one that works but neither seem to. I’m realizing that it might not be the thing for for me. I’ve found that a drive, late at night, on the freeway with the windows down and music blaring will usually make me feel better than an hour (or 50 minutes) of therapy. If that’s true, I need to find other things that do the same.
I turn 40 this year and though I believe you can always make a change no matter what age you are, I feel this is a turning point and if I develop the proper habits right now they’ll last me for however long I have left on this planet.
Despite having a lot of professional work in 2013
, time spent working on projects I was truly passionate about was few. I’m not ashamed to say that there were several moments in 2013 where I was pretty much convinced that, for my sanity, I had to get out of this business. That being the business of attempting to land something at least minimally life supporting in the creative arts.
I spent a large part of the year angry. Angry, jealous and bitter. I was at an audition a few months ago and bumped I to a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and as we talked I got off on some sort of rant about something or other in the entertainment world and he said, “Yeah, but you don’t want to wind up a bitter old man do you?” That clicked in my head. Was I just becoming this bitter old guy? Were the years of trying to ‘make it’ grinding me down that much? Was obsessing about people and projects I perceived as much less talented or creative than me who got big breaks making me a ‘bitter’ old man?
I think so.
So 2014 is all about deciding. I need to decide on the best ways to continue in this business, if I am going to continue. Sadly, the ways I’ve been trying either don’t work or, I think more likely, are not working anymore. Instead of becoming more and more frustrated with how little traction my Saturday Morning Media
projects get, I think I have to find a new way to go about presenting them. I need to decide how I am to deal with the ups and downs of this business. I, actually, used to be pretty good at it. I need to find my way back there.
I need to decide to pursue projects that will make me happy. Not just pursue projects ‘because I need the money.’ Unfortunately, this one is already broken for 2014, because I committed to a project I’m just not feeling but I needed the money. At least I know that and will attempt to avoid avoid that mistake further on in 2014.
Love. This one kinda goes hand and hand with Decide up above. I need to find a way to Love more. Love the life I have, love the people around me. Love how things are going in my life.
As I mentioned above I spent a lot of 2014 angry. Angry for the things I didn’t have or the things people did to me. I need to learn to love what I have. I need to learn to, not love, the people who wrong me, but cut them out of my life so I can keep focus that love elsewhere.
I have it pretty good. I get to do things a lot of people would PAY to do. I need to remember that. I need to learn to love that.
I wrote in my Annual Review yesterday that there was a moment on stage in Toronto where I just broke out into a big smile. I was so happy because I was loving exactly what I was doing at that moment. I need to start finding that feeling in all other aspects of my life and if I don’t love what I’m doing or who I’m with, I need to stop.
I think finding more of the things I love will also help with the whole health thing too.
In his book, C.C. Chapman suggest posting your three words somewhere where you’ll see them everyday. I didn’t do that last year and, perhaps, that is why I didn’t get as much progress on them as I wanted. I’m going to give it a try this year. Post them at home, in my office, and anywhere else I can find to put them.
Okay, here we go!
Soon…Goals for 2014.