Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another Important Tool...

What if I were to tell you that one of the most important tools for being an artist is not creativity (ironic thought for this blog, I fully realize) - but rather resiliency - or what I like to think of as "bounce." The ability to face a world of rejection isn't just about our interaction with the outside world - it's an essential tool in the creative process as well. 

How many times have you had an absolutely brilliant idea only to see it die a thousand deaths as it hits the page? Or that great image that almost works but for some reason you just can't quite make it come together? Every artist, writer, filmmaker, musician...probably even most scientists have to learn how to face failure and not allow it to dampen their ability to keep coming back the next day. 

One way to do this is to shift from a "goal" orientation to a "process" one. What I mean by that is, if you're only focused on making a new masterpiece - then anything that falls short of the mark will likely be very disappointing. If instead your focus is on the process or practice of creative output, then you've succeeded to some degree just by showing up everyday and putting in the time. This doesn't mean you don't care about making good work - but you become a little insulated against those times when it just isn't working.  Showing up for the difficult process of being an artist on a regular basis will mean that eventually you're going to hit those masterpieces and find your way...but you can't find that path if you're not in the game. 

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