As humans, we often have a hard time embracing our creative identity. In fact, we sometimes believe we aren’t creative at all, and that such talents only belong to other people.
We’re quick to form a picture of what makes someone “creative”. We put lables on people who live creative lifestyles; sometimes positive, sometimes negative, and then we limit ourselves to believing they are the only ones capable of living that way. If we want to break into the realm of Wonder, these myths about creativity need to die.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a perfectionist. I’ll often spend more time analyzing my work than I do actually working. (Oh hey, I’m doing it right now with these opening sentences. What a great start.)
If you’re a perfectionist, don’t feel bad. You have great qualities, such as diligence, loyalty, and a desire for excellence. We need people like you and I in this world, but as perfectionists, we’ve got to learn how to manage our gifts, lest they become a hindrance.
Some days creativity comes easier than others. It’s always nice when the stream is flowing and the words and colors and ideas are coming, but we all know it doesn’t last forever. Sometimes you don’t feel creative. Sometimes, you might even wonder if you’ll ever feel that way again.
When I was in high school, I focused all my spare energy on writing novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote; hundreds of thousands of words. And at first it was easy. But there came a time, shortly after I graduated when I stopped writing almost altogether. It was like the spark of passion I’d had had gone out.
If you’ve ever felt creative burnout, you know how much it sucks. Especially if creativity is something you love and thrive on. Being outside your creative flow is like gasping for breath, really—the breath of your soul.
The trouble is, sometimes, the more you chase creativity, the farther away it feels. That’s why it’s important to learn how to avoid burnout in the first place—(yes, it really is possible)—and today I want to share three strategies to help you.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally started dipping my toes back into the pool of writing fiction. I’m finally developing a story idea into a real book after more than a year of “absent creativity”—and at last, I had a revelation: my creativity hadn’t really been gone; it had merely been asleep, recharging.
When I was a teenager, my dream was to be a novelist. I would sit in my room at my desk for hours, plotting, writing, editing. The “life of a writer” consumed me. This was all I ever wanted: for it to be me, my characters, and my world. And of course, one day, a best-selling novel. But things didn’t quite work out that way.
Sometimes you just need to journey down a quiet road going anywhere; to wander—and to wonder. Sometimes you need to feel the breeze in your hair and the sun on your skin and just pause: breathe the air of simplicity and forget the hurry of the world, just for a moment. If that’s you right now, you’ve come to the right place.
Last week, my good friend, Isaac Kenneth released his first music album, highlighting the beauty of a life embracing simplicity. He talks about a place that’s quiet; a place that’s safe. It’s a place that feels far away from a lot of us—a place some of us may have forgotten exists. But it’s still there, and his music has a way of transporting you to that world.
If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal”. Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—sometimes even beyond their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes end up doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.