First off, I know the last few blog posts have been kind of spotty. I’m hoping to get back into it, starting now, with renewed urgency and regularity. Here we go…

You know how when we’re young, it’s OK to be a “jack of all trades”? You can draw a purple tree one minute, then be a pirate the next, and it’s OK. In fact, it’s encouraged. At least, it was for me. As a kid, I was obsessed with film, went through a robots stage, an aliens stage, and eventually “settled” on music when it was decided that that was what I was really good at.

Now, I can’t really draw that purple tree. Time flies, and before we know it, we can’t so easily get away with doing everything. Trouble is, sometimes we still want to.

There’s a tendency in creative people to leave projects unfinished. For every band we’ve heard of, there’s about a million that never made it past the first four months. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the demands of adult life, but also a lack of focus on the part of the collaborating members.

This lack of focus seems to come with the creative territory, just as hyper-focus does. Mozart is said to have had attention deficit hyper-disorder. Though not a subscriber to common beliefs about ADHD, I do think that the condition of swinging from one branch to the next is a real issue for a lot of creative people.

A proposed solution: QUELL your creativity. The urge inside us to create more and more is ravenous, like a hungry bear, and sometimes can be destructive. What once served us as kids can now be dangerous. I find that in this distracting world, I really do need to “beat back” my creative impulses sometimes, in order to hone in on the one thing that really needs my attention.

Our brilliant ideas have to be marketable, at least when first starting out. That’s why developing the one thing that we’re really good at is one popular mode of progress in any artistic industry. It becomes an almost daily struggle to choose which impulses serve us and which do not – one which can only come about through intense focus on what it is we truly desire. When are some times that you have had to turn off, or turn down, your right brain (creative) in order to hone in on the right (practical)?

4 thoughts on “The Advantage of Being LESS Creative

  1. Since I was a kid, I’ve had people react negatively to my intense curiosity, manifesting itself in endless questions, and creativity, which often expresses itself in “descriptive” language. In school, I was considered “odd,” “weird,” and “strange,” and at times annoying, for knowing and thinking, questioning, and wanting to know so much about EVERYTHING, even things that were “none of my business.” As an adult, I often find I have to censor what I say, as my mind often runs ahead of my filter and sometimes things pass my lips that others find offensive. I have gotten much better at controlling my expression of those thoughts, but I refuse to stop thinking and wondering about things.

    When it comes to doing well in life, it is more a matter of balance. We must learnt to prioritize and manage our time. You have to decide what is most important and fulfilling to pursue, based on considerations like, Can I finish this in time, Can I make money at this, Will I enjoy this, How long can I do this, etc. THIS part of life is the practical part, and the other side of the coin. I believe that creative people find more challenge with the practical side of things. However, without this, you cannot succeed. It is a side that needs to be developed. Some people’s practical side outweighs their creativity. Some creative people have no sense of the pragmatic. A balanced person will learn to cultivate both sides, and hopefully live a balanced and happy life. We all have our challenges. Knowing what we need to do is the first step to doing it. Good luck!

    1. Being used to scrutiny is one part of being creative. It’s a constant dance of checking oneself and being tactical. At a certain point, we must meditate on and evaluate even the decisions that seem minute! It’s all part of building this different kind of life.

      1. But how many of our decisions can we examine and reexamine before we start to feel inadequate? Again, it is a question of balance. The middle way. Yes, we must scrutinize ourselves and push to do better, always. Yes, we must let ourselves off the hook for the little things and enjoy life, realizing that we are flawed and it’s OK.

  2. Good thoughts! I always come back to balance. (I don’t know if it has to do with being a Libra.) But everyone who has a lot of interests experiences this big paradox. Self-improvement vs. self-approval. You’re not good enough, but you are. 🙂

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