Searching for Success: Have Faith and Never Give Up (4/4)

“Real success comes from those who have faith in themselves…”

Faith is a very powerful thing. Having faith in yourself will encourage your own success. Having faith will also allow you to be more understanding of the speed of which you may become successful. By this I mean that success does not happen in a split second overnight. Overnight success comes and goes; like a one hit wonder in the pop charts. Real success comes from those who have faith in themselves, work hard and continue to work hard; although we all need a break now and again.

“It’s easy to only focus on your own singular big goal and forget about all of the other achievements…”

It’s important to recognise your own work and success sometimes in order to restore faith. A good exercise is to simply sit and write down or review your previous work. Look at the planned goals you have achieved but also recognise the unplanned goals you have achieved. By this, I mean those unexpected achievements that you may have forgotten about or were offered to you by someone else. It’s easy to only focus on your own singular big goal and forget about all of the other achievements that may have been made possible by working on that goal. It’s also important to understand that in the process of reaching you goal, that it will often intertwine with others also searching for success in their field.

For myself, this is every single gig I have ever been offered by a promoter from a venue, every interview on radio or for a blog/website, each album sale or words of encouragement from a fan, or questions of advice from other budding creatives who may deem me as being successful. My creative success is the process of making music, this is where my personal goals and achievements and success lie, everything else is an amazing bonus, but also a nudge in the right direction of another future personal goal; to earn part of my living through chosen use of creativity.

Real success is a timeline of small successful achievements throughout life, and to add to this all of the bonus achievements that come with it. Success isn’t one singular moment or achievement, their may be one achievement that overshadows others or out-dates them, but it’s often those who give up after such an achievement who in the not too distant future will be met again by creative depression. Our drive as creatives is to continue to be successful with whatever big ideas or problems we put in front of ourselves, and by having faith that we will be successful will help us to keep moving forward, never give up and be successful.

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News: February

This month is a bit of a turning point in my life. I’ve made many decisions to move forward looking toward the future, and a lot of my days have been spent planning work, money, time, and of course what I want to do with all of it.

I’m hoping this year to focus on quality over quantity, I’d made plans previously about a few releases this year, but have decided that after the mishap and delay of my Human Imperfections EP that I need to spend more time on myself rather than stressing about getting things done, but at the same time I feel that I’d like to make sure whatever I do this year is to the best of my abilities.

To add to this, a wonderful new opportunity cropped up during January, in which I was asked to do music for a feature length film this year. This is something I’ve never done before, and I’m really excited. My efforts for the next month or so will be purely focused on material for that rather than another EP release over the summer; however I feel that throughout this process I may of course come up with some stuff that I think suitable for yourselves to hear, so anything I feel won’t be used in the film will be put together for yourselves.

A couple of things before I finish up…

NEXT GIG

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Also, please take some time to check out Bywyd Studios, some guys I’ve met through gigging have spent their hard earned money and time putting together a great little studio in Cardiff. The quality of their work is awesome, so please follow them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc for regular updates and info on what they do.

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Planning Creativity (3/4): Make It Simple

Grab a pen and paper…

  1. Write down at the bottom of a page a creative task that you would like to complete. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like; dependent on your field. The simpler the goal, the more steps you will probably find in planning. The more complicated goals probably mean that you have already partially planned.
  2. Next to it write down a reasonable deadline for the goal
  3. Above it, break down the goal into different tasks that will help to complete it (Eg. Does it require research? Does it require specific items? Does it require time? Does it require space?) Think of anything you can.
  4. Next to the tasks, break them down into simpler lists of what needs to be done to complete them.
  5. Assign shorter reasonable deadlines to the items on the lists.

If you gave yourself a reasonable deadline for your goal in the first place, then the amount of time associated with each list item and task should amalgamate together to equate to the required deadline of your goal.

You’re plan is the spark for your creativity.

Now you know exactly what’s to be done and when your creativity can begin to thrive. By taking an item from a list, you can be creative whilst completing that item, and thus complete a task in order to get one step closer to your goal. You may find it surprising how simple it can be to complete.

Personally I find that planning on paper or mentally really aids my process as it’s always good to have an idea of what needs to be done next. Sometimes however we over complicate what we need to do in our heads, and by writing them down it simplifies the act of deciding what needs to be done first or last; or what needs to be done sooner rather than later. Knowing what you are expecting to do will void the introduction of creative block into your dedicated time, and allow you to be playful.

Play with your ideas.

If you have a an item to complete on your list, give yourself time to be playful with it, be the unique-creative-original that you are and make notes as you go along. Don’t ever distract from your current goal. Avoid tangents and save them for a rainy day, as if they’re good enough you will find a new creative spark in continued planning for them at a later date. The aim with planning is to get something finished.

If it Doesn’t Work, Take a Step Back

If it doesn’t seem to work and you have that dreaded feeling of creative block, then take a step back and think about your plan. Maybe the plan was too simple? Was the goal too complicated? Or was the goal too vague? Utilise the time spent fighting creative block to plan further so that you can be even more creative when you come back to it, as doing this may help to spark your creativity again. Write lists about the lists, add tasks to your tasks, and you may find that there’s more that needs to be done in order to get started.

Review Your Plan

Lastly, take note of how in depth your plan needs to feel comfortable getting started. Each plan may be slightly different, but once you have an idea of how much planning you need to do, then you will have a great framework for next time. Knowing this will lead to having a better understanding of your own creative process enabling your workflow and productivity to improve.

Planning Creativity (1/4): Be Successful and Productive

“…you cannot simply wait for the right mood or the right atmosphere”

As a creative it’s hard to imagine simply switching on and off the creativity button. In fact, this is the way the most successful creatives in the world achieve their success. In order to be a successful creative you cannot simply wait for the right mood or the right atmosphere; you cannot wait for that specific event to happen that leads to inspiration or that new piece of tech or gear to arrive at your door. We don’t actually need anything to be the creatives we hope to be, all that it takes is the ability to mentally and/or physically engage in the act of being creative, and by planning to do so, we enable ourselves to be ready.

“If we have a plan of when to be creative and how to be, then writers block will never have its chance to get in the way.”

If you plan to be creative then it’s simple; you will be creative. The only thing that will hold you back is yourself. We need to stop believing that writers block exists, and instead consider our discipline, our bad habits, procrastination, our lack of confidence, our laziness, our disorganisation and an abundance of many other things that can be thrown onto that pile. If we have a plan of when to be creative and how to be, then writers block will never have its chance to get in the way. By allowing such things to get in the way, we in turn loose our productivity as creatives, as by not planning to engage in the act, we won’t produce a single thing to be proud of.

“…the only terms in which success can be achieved are your own.”

Now I’m not saying that by making a plan and sticking to it that you’re going to become a new born creative overnight, but what I will say is that you will see vast improvements in productivity, and somewhere along the line you will become a successful creative. The definition of ‘success’ can be a very personal one, and the only terms in which success can be achieved are your own. It’s up to you to decide what success truly means.

“…by planning to practice our art the more creative and productive we will become.”

There’s a common phrase sung by many that “Practice makes perfect”, and although I don’t quite believe that anything can be perfect, practice will certainly help any creative to improve. Practice helps to improve our defined art in creativity, and I say art, as most creativity evolves around it. Many forms of art are the most common forms of creativity, and thus by planning to practice our art the more creative and productive we will become through learning and honing our skills.

“…it helps us to mentally and/or physically prepare for what needs to be done.”

By planning you will find it easier to be a productive creative, as you will know when you are expecting to be creative rather than hoping to be, and this is Why Planning Creativity Works, as it allows our brains to understand the tasks that lie before us, and it helps us to mentally and/or physically prepare for what needs to be done. Planning allows us to break down our goals of success into simpler tasks which will enable our creativity to thrive and become successful, by speeding up our workflow and increasing the amount of time we actually spend being creative.