Happy Halloween everyone! Since Halloween is this Friday, I wanted to dedicate this episode to things that go bump in the night by talking about creative monsters in our lives.
Creative monsters take many forms and use a variety of techniques to rip our creative ideas and spirit to shreds. In this episode, we’ll learn how to recognize the creative monsters in your life and how to avoid them.
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Now let’s talk writing.
Creative monsters never hit you while you’re down. They jump out when you’re actually making progress and feeling successful. And they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- The boss who drops a giant project on you at the last minute, when you were headed out the door to have a weekend dedicated to working on your project.
- The friend who constantly asks you when you’re going to get published.
- The spouse who calls you with a crisis when you’re supposed to be writing.
All of these reasons can be legitimate, not intended necessarily to bring you down. Still they can chip away at your creative confidence if you don’t learn how to combat them. Here are three steps to help you evade these creative monsters in your life.
Tips for Monster Evasion
1. It’s not you, it’s them.
When you are being successful and creative, your monsters are feeling threatened. Their worldview, and the role that you play in it, can feel attacked. You’re doing something that takes away from who they expect you to be and that’s scary for them. And the people who are closest to you can be the biggest creative monsters because they have the most to lose.
It’s important for you to remember that you aren’t doing anything wrong. You can find small adjustments to help them deal with your creative side. But you will have to learn how to keep them at bay so that you can get to the important, creative work you have to do.
2. Avoid giving them ammunition
Your creative monsters may be well-intentioned, but they don’t understand writing and publishing like you do. Don’t complain to them about how hard writing is. Don’t go on a tirade against the publishing industry. They will only use this information for evil, not for good. The creative monsters will take these frustrations and build an argument for why you should quit writing altogether instead of helping you figure out how to work through the obstacles in your path.
Likewise, they may not understand the significance of small victories or exciting milestones that you encounter on your creative journey. Their reaction when you tell them about these things will only drag you down.
Instead, find a group of like-minded writers, your new creative allies, to share the ups and downs of your creativity with.
3. Practice self-care for the setbacks and celebrate the small victories.
Creative monsters can diminish your triumphs. Make sure to give yourself credit for your victories in a way that is meaningful for you. Whatever that looks like for you, make sure you tell yourself when you hit those little milestones.
Now, I’m dying to know…
Who are the creative monsters in your life? How can you lovingly evade them and care for yourself to help keep them at bay? Do you have any awesome, monster-evading techniques you’d like to share with us? Leave a comment below and tell us how you combat the creative monsters in your life.
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.