Being an Independent Creative (1/4): It’s Tough

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s hard work. Being independent in any shape or form can be hard. it can be lonely. Even if you have people by your side in other aspects of your life being an independent creative can take it’s toll mentally and/or physically. It gets easier when you learn how to manage it and find what works for you, but even when you think you’ve got it nailed something around you or inside of you can change.

When you’re independent it can often mean that it’s just you; by this I mainly mean one person. You’re the one with the ideas, you’re the one with the passion that you want to pursue. Others around you can show support but you’re essentially running every job description listed on a large corporations payrole, this is why things may happen slowly and I guess why we have so much more time to overthink.

Thinking can have positive and negative effects. In one hand how would you be a creative without having the ability to think? In the other hand overthinking and over analysing can lead to a negative perspective about what you are doing. Is what I’m doing good enough? Who really cares? Why should I keep pursuing this?

I’m of that negative mindset right now. At the start of the year I set a goal to blog each week, but last week for some reason it just didn’t happen. I tried. I sat and I started typing, but each word I was typing seemed utterly pointless. Absolute garbage. I have deadlines to meet this year in more ways than one. Deadlines that could push my creativity career forward yet I have no motivation what so ever to get them done. No drive. I wonder why that is?

Sometimes no matter what goals you set, however detailed your plan is or however much passion you have about doing something, sometimes you simply just can’t be bothered. This isn’t procrastination, (I prefer to see procrastination as replacing your creative time with other tasks in order to put off the creative process) you simply just can’t be bothered to do anything. You have the time, you have the resources, you know what you need to do but you simply just can’t be bothered.

I discovered a new word the other day. Anhedonia. It’s a term used to describe the inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities (according to google); and it’s an interesting term. It’s heavily linked to depression. However I find it’s loose definition intriguing. It can have severe affects of literally not feeling anything emotionally or physically, but as google has defined it can simply mean that you don’t find pleasure in something you normally would. You may still find pleasure in other aspects of life, but perhaps one aspect has changed. Finding pleasure is often what drives the want and need to do it, and when you’re struggling to find pleasure, it’s hard to find the motivation to do it.

Sometimes it’s comforting to find a word that describes what you’re feeling, but it can also be disheartening as a realisation of what’s actually going on. The spiral that can lead on from there can be devastating; yet another pit of self loathing can be formed due to simply one aspect of life that in the grand scheme of things really isn’t your whole life, but at times it can feel that way. It can appear to be the centre of your being, the reason you’re put on this earth. It’s what you were chosen to do. Or is it?

What I’ve come to realise is that independence can often mean that things need to be put on the back-burner, even if they’re the most important to you in your life. Set it aside whilst you deal with everything else that is going on, as everything else accumulating may end up having a negative effect on what’s important, and that’s something we have to avoid at all costs.

Advertisements

Life vs Creativity (4/4): Make a Decision

This feels to me to be the perfect time to write this. I’ve recently been finishing my Human Imperfections EP, and if you follow my posts you will notice that I’ve had to delay it’s official release due to illness; illness partly caused by stress. This illness lead to me not being able to sit down and do the final mixes comfortably, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t rushing the process for the sake of it… Thus begins the final blog post regarding ‘Life vs Creativity’.

“…consider which is more important.”

At the end of the day, in order to be creative we need to have the time to do so. In order to do this we may need to reconsider what’s more important; creativity or life? It’s a decision that I’ve made over and over again, and this can lead to some awkward situations. Perhaps work is getting in the way? Well then work needs to change. Perhaps social time with friends is getting in the way? True friends will be understanding and supportive. Perhaps you’ve been successful with creativity and it’s lead to being so busy being creative for someone else, that you can’t be creative for yourself perusing the true career you desire. Consider each thing, and consider which is more important.

“…you will benefit, and those around you will also benefit.”

Making the decision to allow time for your creativity will benefit you both creatively and emotionally. If creativity is important, and you’re not getting to be creative, you will likely dive into a pit of depression, possibly un-aware of the cause; and this could be it. If you make the decision of which is more important to you then you will benefit, and those around you will also benefit. I often find myself apologising if I’m in a mood, as often it’s down to not having the time to be creative and do the thing I really love. Without becoming too self-loathing, really think about how what you do affects the people around you, and what you should do to improve that affect.

“…allow yourself the downtime after the fact; otherwise you will burn out…”

To add to this, as I have learned you need to realise if you’re trying to do too much at once. We can all make the time, but are we allowing time for rest and de-stress from life? It is as important to rest as it is to do the things we love. Creativity is work. This obviously depends on your personal opinion of whether creativity is simply a hobby or your career, but despite the outcome it involves huge amounts of brain power to be creative, and you need to allow yourself the downtime after the fact; otherwise you will burn out and find you are unable to achieve the things you wanted to achieve originally. There is only so much the body can take.

“…we need to realise that sometimes we need to do what we want to do.”

Whenever you make these decisions, you will immediately see spikes in your creativity and productivity. Stress and anxiety can often hold us back from doing what we want to do as we don’t believe we need to do it. For our own mental health and well-being we need to realise that sometimes we need to do what we want to do. So it’s time to make a decision that counts, and follow through with it. We only have ourselves to blame for any dry spell in creativity, but don’t allow that blame to last and get you down or get in the way. Take action and move forward.