There are tons of different ways to be creative in this life. You can have a super creative job like being a writer or a musician or a fashion designer. Or you can have a creative hobby like watercolor painting and do that on the side of a super boring day job. Whatever your situation, the fact is that there are a ton of myths about what it’s like to be creative and when and how you can create. Artists are kind of crazy, let’s be honest, and they have a lot of ideas about how things need to look in order for them to get down to business. Read to find out some of the top myths that we tell ourselves about creativity. So stop making excuses for yourself already, you’re pissing people off.
1. We Can't Create Because We're Exhausted
Artists are funny creatures. They seem to want everything to be 100 percent in order to create. They want to be super awake and practically jumping out of their seats, they’re so excited and ready to create. They don’t want to get anything done when they’re tired and basically falling asleep standing up. Sorry, but life doesn’t work that way. You’re going to be tired and you’re still going to have to be creative, because that’s what you do. Maybe you have a super tight deadline that’s keeping you up and your boss is screaming at you (why can’t you conjure up a perfectly nice boss? Sigh) or you haven’t worked on your novel in weeks and it’s starting to hate you a little bit. Yeah, your novel can hate you. If you don’t believe me, then maybe you’re not as creative as you thought you were.
2. We Have Zero Inspiration
Raise your hand if you’re a creative person and you have a muse. Really? You do? Muses seem so old-fashioned and unrealistic. Sorry if that sounds pretty harsh but if you’re telling yourself a bunch of myths about creativity, then it’s time for a reality check, and you probably need some harsh advice. If you feel you absolutely must have your muse nearby and be full of tons of inspiration in order to create, then you’re going to be waiting forever. Conditions are never perfect. We need to get over the creative myth of needing to be inspired before we can get to work. We might never be inspired and then we wasted our whole lives and now we’re dead and we never got to do what we really wanted. Yeah, that’s depressing. So what are you waiting for? Why are you still browsing Twitter and posting Instagram photos of every single meal you eat? Why won’t you just get to work already?
3. We Have no Time
Ah, creativity and the myth of time. Time is a pretty crazy concept, when you stop to think about it. It can feel like it’s moving super slow (like when your annoying boss won’t shut up in that meeting) or super fast (like when you’re feeling extra motivated, which might not ever happen, but hey, we can dream). A ton of creative people like to say that they simply don’t have the time to create. But guess what? I hate to break it to you but there will never be enough time. There, I said it. Someone had to. There’s never enough time in our lives, period. We’re always running late, we missed our subway train, we have too many emails to reply to, we haven’t seen our BFF in a month because of that thing called work. So why would you expect there to be enough time for your creative pursuits? So forget about needing enough time to create and just do it already and stop whining about it.
4. We're Not Good Enough
The truth is, if you’re creative you’re going to be insecure. That’s just life. You might not ever get super successful but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you never try, then you never know, as a wise person once said (that would be Chris Martin – those are Coldplay lyrics). Artists are pretty hilarious, when you stop to think about it, because they’re both egotistical and insecure. You have to have a Kayne-West sized ego in order to think you’re awesome enough to be creative… yet you still think you’re a loser and the world doesn’t deserve to see your creations. Guess what? You’re not a loser. Okay, you might be, I don’t know you. But chances are you’re not, you’re pretty cool, and you should be a little bit nicer to yourself.
5. We're Not Getting Paid so it's Not Worth it
Ah, the myth of creativity and money. This is a super tricky one because of course we want to get paid for our creative work. If we have a day job and hope to someday make our creative hobby our full-time career, then we just have to suck it up and do our creative work for free, at least for right now. The money can come later. Hey, you’re not getting paid for it now, so you can only go up from here, right? And besides, you’re a writer or a painter or a musician or whatever because you absolutely love it, it makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and all that good stuff. That’s reason enough to create.
6. We Should Have Contacts
Guess what? You can officially stop telling yourself that you need contacts and to know the right kinds of people in your chosen creative field, because that’s total crap. You don’t need connections. You just need a combo of talent and luck and timing. I know, I know, it’s pretty hard to get all three at the same time, but that’s why creativity is definitely not for the weak.
7. We'll Work Tomorrow
Basically, this is the worst creativity myth that you could possibly tell yourself. Why? Because the funny thing about procrastination is that the more we do it, the more we want to do it. If you put your creative work off until tomorrow, tomorrow’s going to be here before you know it and then you’re not going to work then, either. That’s just the way it goes. Pizza and TV are always way more attractive than working, and we’ll always choose relaxation over being creative because we get lazy. We’re all pretty lazy, when it comes right down to it, so let’s just be real here. But ask yourself this: do you have dreams? Do you want your dream job someday, and does that dream job involve pursuing creativity? Then guess what? You’re going to have to stop procrastinating. Get started right now. You have zero excuses.
Being a creative person is both awesome and truly awful. It’s awesome because you get to act like a kid again and make stuff. It’s awful because you’re not a kid anymore (even if you still feel like it) and so you have all kinds of grown-up worries and anxiety. Are you guilty of making any of these excuses for why you just can’t possibly create? Stop right now and get to work. There’s stuff to be made. You don’t need to waste any more time – you’ve wasted enough hours watching Netflix, right?
What other creativity myths do you keep telling yourself? Let us know below…