Today, I feel like discussing creativity in a philosophical manner. Or perhaps its just a rant. No matter. Anyway, there’s just something I’ve observed lately and I’d feel it ought to be mentioned…
Basically the thing goes like this…
Creative person spends years learning to do something. For years they are pretty well terrible, then for a while pretty well average. Then suddenly a miracle happens. Things started coming out right, even magnificent. People start commenting, liking, loving their stuff. Then there’s the inevitable people who have no idea how hard and long a journey its taken for the person to get this good. They think if they just had the time to sit down and “piddle away” time writing they could whip out a book just as good too. They watch someone painting (Hello, Bob Ross) and think it looks so easy! They say if they had as good a camera as so and so they could do as good a job on their photos too…etc. etc. etc!
Oh yeah. This is aggravating. Beyond words. But, the attitude it tends to bring out in us creatives is something I really want to address.
It doesn’t matter what you do in life, no one else will truly understand how hard and long you’re journey is unless they’ve traveled that road themselves, okay? That’s just a fact of life, and its worthwhile extending a little grace to people who make such comments in ignorance. The truth is, most of them say things like that because deep down they want to do something just as creative as you are doing.
So, I propose a new approach to dealing with this sort of criticism.
Instead of getting on our high horse and talking down to these people (and coming off a bit conceited and all I’m-better-than-you-because-I-know-how-to-make-awesome-stuff) lets try responding with kindness and understanding. Let’s encourage these people.
Yes, I just advised you to encourage your critics. No I’m not crazy.
Encourage them (in as loving and kind a way as possible) to give it a try themselves.
Engage them in a talk about creativity. Oh, you mean you always wanted to write a book? Why haven’t you? Here, here’s something that could help you get started (an article on how to plot a story, drawing basics, how to take a good photo etc). Why not give it a try yourself? Oh, come on, I’m sure you can do it!
True, not everyone will change their tune. Nearly everyone will give an excuse about not having the time (as if anyone ever has time to be creative. You have to make time!). But don’t give up on them. If they truly have a desire they will give it a try. Encourage them to start small.
And if they love it, they will start on an amazing journey. And somewhere down the road they will realize how wrong they were about it being easy. And you didn’t have to say a word.
But that’ll be okay. Because even though it’s not an easy road to make something creative and beautiful and amazing, its still a beautiful journey. And totally worth every step.
And that’s all from me today, Color Scribes. Now go out there, be creative, encourage others…and make something!
(PS. If nothing else, you may make a new creative buddy by trying this method!)