3 Excuse Cards Creative Professionals Should Remove From Their Deck Today

Todd Brison

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Let’s get this out on the table: Creatives have a reputation for being flaky.

I don’t like it. You don’t like it. But the fact remains that when a parent hears “I’m going to be an artist, dad”, what really gets processed is “I’m going to live in your basement indefinitely, dad!”

Part of that comes from us playing these three cards. Removing them from my deck helped me move from dreamer to legitimate artist in just over a year:

The Victim Card

The biggest mistake Creatives make is assuming ideas come from nowhere.

Let me say that again in bold:

The biggest mistake Creatives make is assuming ideas come from nowhere.

“I just haven’t had any good ideas lately” is no longer acceptable. When a creative person surrenders his entire livelihood to a faceless, heartless Muse, he is playing the victim card.

Ideas are a combination of the existing world. If you want to increase you creative output, know the existing world and connect dots people around you can’t.

Do what it takes to make that happen. Travel. Interview people. Start Micro Journaling.

Just don’t be a victim anymore.

The Procrastination Card

You know this guy, right? The “I’ve been working on a novel for the last 6 years” guy?

Yeah, he gets old real fast.

In college, I always wanted to write a novel. So I tried. I wrote when I was inspired. Over two years I mustered up a whopping 2,246 words.

Turns out novels are a little longer than that.

Frustrated and desperate, I stumbled across this little thing called NaNoWriMo, and in 30 days I wrote 30 times what I’d written the previous two years.

To say it changed my life is an understatement.

The amateur creative waits for ideas to strike.
The professional shows up every day, even if she is uninspired.

(P.S. NaNoWriMo is really far away, but Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. I’m not affiliated, but the program might be the sole reason you’re reading this right now. I’ll promote it until one of us disappears.)

The Misunderstood Card

Hopefully you’re stronger than me.

Hopefully you don’t go grumble in the corner every time you get feedback, muttering about how “nobody understands you.”

Plenty of would-be artists wind up in a corporate job to pay the bills, get offended when what they make doesn’t fit the bill, and give up.

A couple of things to unpack here if you work for a boss:

People really DON’T understand you.

Of course they don’t understand you. If they understood you, they wouldn’t need you. You are the magic man, the mystic lady. You see the world in a different way.

Don’t expect anyone to just go along with it.

You still have to fill an order.

Despite your magic powers, you are still working for someone who has an agenda to push. Creating magic while selling your soul is a conflict as old as time.

Guess what happens when you skip the fit after getting real feedback? People start to trust you. Guess what that means? You can start to use more of your own ideas.

Once you become the company, you can steer the company.

Get it?

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