Eight Creative Dilemmas

I work with creative people who have some amazing ideas for expressing their creativity in the work they do… turning their creative ideas into works of art in various kinds of mediums or creating novel products and services that people desire.

This might involve different kinds of writing, composing, performing, dancing, entertaining, improvising, music making, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, designing, engineering, fabricating, building, crafting, manufacturing and product or service development to mention a few aspects.

However, at one time or another, the people I work with have experienced one or more of the following creative dilemmas.

  1. Too many ideas, or difficulty focusing on one thing at a time.
  2. Difficulty getting started: Where and when to start.
  3. Too easily distracted and avoiding next steps.
  4. Censoring your internal critic: negative beliefs, thoughts and emotions knock you off course or sabotage your efforts.
  5. Creative blocks or obstacles are getting in your way.
  6. Staying focused and motivated despite day-to-day challenges and adversity.
  7. Supporting yourself financially while pursuing your creative endeavors.
  8. Identifying and addressing relationship issues and concerns that have a negative impact on your creative works.

In working with you and the creative dilemmas you are facing, we discuss your individual factors and circumstances to help you move your creative pursuits forward.

Here are some general things to consider when faced with any of these eight creative dilemmas.

1. Too Many Ideas, or Difficulty Focusing on One Thing at A Time.

You can’t really have too many ideas, but you can become overwhelmed or too anxious if you focus on two many ideas at once resulting in frustration and difficulty in getting something significant accomplished.

The question I often ask people facing this dilemma to consider is which idea is most interesting, exciting or compelling. If you start there you are likely to have the most energy, motivation and vision related to moving it forward.

2. Difficulty Getting Started: Where and When to Start?

No matter how many great ideas you have, you have to narrow down what you are going to work on at any given moment in time.

Don’t expect your efforts to be perfect or exactly what you have in mind from the start.

Start anything related to your idea in some tangible way to get some energy going and then go from there.

As you move along, allow yourself time to further explore, make mistakes, or modify your efforts, but keep taking some actions that will help you move forward.

3. Too Easily Distracted and Avoiding Next Steps.

Break down what needs to be done and designate regular times and space for engaging in the various aspects.

Be careful when taking breaks not to get too caught up in other interests or activities.

Put limits on the internet, checking e-mails, going on your smart phone, texting, social media, video games, cable television, news, unnecessary phone calls, etc.

4. Censoring Your Internal Critic: Negative Beliefs, Thoughts and Emotions Knock You Off Your Course or Sabotage Your Efforts.

Many creative people are their own worse critic by trying to be perfectionistic and having unrealistic or impossible expectations for themselves and their art.

Always consider your creative pursuits as a work in progress that can and will, at times, transform into the unexpected….for better or worse. Whatever happens, it will probably lead to learning something or creating something else.

The important thing is not stopping yourself, before you start getting somewhere.

5. Creative Blocks and Obstacles Are Getting in Your Way?

There are a variety of times and ways when you may become stuck, unable tomove forward in your creative efforts in the ways you want.

You may be looking for the right musical notes, words, colors, objects, materials, design features or something else, but it is not evolving as well as you would like in those moments.

Sometimes, just messing with the pieces in different ways, taking a break, looking for other inspiration or shifting to doing something else for a while can break the block.

We all can become stuck or feel blocked by obstacles, at times. The important thingis how we manage our narrative, emotions and behavior to get back to our creative pursuit.

6. Staying Focused and Motivated Despite the Day-To-Day Challenges and Adversity.

Assess, overall, to what extent your lifestyle is either helping or hindering yourcreative efforts?

Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well, getting enough physical activity, meditation, recreation, social activities, and meaningful connection with the important people in your life.

Avoid alcohol, drugs, too much sugar or caffeine, bad food, lack sleep, too many video games, too much of the internet, social media, too many social events or too much alone time.

7. Supporting Yourself Financially While Pursuing Your Creative Endeavors.

Consider how other artists are networking, using social media, designing their websites, and finding commercial venues for getting their artistic endeavors in front of their preferred audiences.

Find people you can turn to who may function as mentors and allied resources, as well as, successful artistic models, who are working in similar creative mediums and have success.

Remember, most creative work is labor intensive and a work in progress. It also must be accomplished, in addition to doing other jobs necessary to pay the bills until you able to make money from your creative endeavors.

8. Identifying Relationship Issues and Concerns That Have a Negative Impact on Your Creative Works.

Do the significant people in your life understand and support the importance of your creative expression and work? Why do they? Why not?

Does the relationship with your partner, spouse or other significant people in your life meet your artistic, intellectual, emotional and physical needs and wants?

What issues and concerns related to your relationships are interfering with your creative pursuits?

Copyright 2014 Creative Dilemmas, M. Douglas Evans, All Rights Reserved.

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