Last week, for the first time I sent my manuscript out to be read by someone other than a family member. I would like just say the story is just fine the way it is and move forward, but I know it can be better.
Art and the creative process is difficult because there really is no right answer. There’s no certainty of knowing what you’ve created is worth anything. That makes it scary putting yourself out there, facing rejection, humiliation and scorn. Everyone has different ideas of what they think the right answer is. Who should you listen to?
My guess is you should listen to everyone. Even if their ideas are way off base from yours, even if you don’t use their ideas, their perspective may help shape yours in some distant way. Ideas and inspiration don’t come out of thin air. Even if it’s your own idea, someone or something put it in your head at one point, and you just then, for some reason, retrieved it. We can’t go through the creative process alone. Fight back the fear that leads to stagnation. Move forward, keep at it, stay inspired and stay confident. I love this infographic of the creative process.
It’s not an easy road, but it’s worth it. And as we’re traveling, remember others that may be on the same path. It’s important to give feedback, but support the end goal as well.
Godin wrote a blog post last week titled, Out on a Limb. He said,
“Out on a limb
That’s where artists do their work.
Not in the safe places, but out there, in a place where they might fail, where it might end badly, where connections might be lost, sensibilities might be offended, jokes might not be gotten.
If you work with artists, don’t saw off the limb. Don’t waste a lot of time explaining how dangerous it is, either. No, your job is to quietly support the limb at the same time you egg your team on, pushing them ever further out there.”
So moving forward, in my endeavors, I will try my best to take constructive criticism constructively and not personally. I will listen first and think twice before speaking out to defend myself and I will look for all opportunities to challenge my perspectives.
And in exchange, I will do my best to support others. After all, we are all artists and we all create.
And in exchange, I will offer the support to others. Because I do believe, we are all artists.