This is a continuation of my previous blog post on Winter Woes, Creativity Burnout, Meditation, and Hedonistic Adaptation!
Update: I have created a video version of this blog post, watch it here if you prefer!
Do you remember when I had my first vlog talking about my fear of failure, self-worth, imposter syndrome, perfectionism and realizing that I should make more yoga videos? I eventually got to doing a 30 day yoga challenge and produced a yoga video every weekday for a month.
And near the end of it all, I realized the REAL challenge wasn’t the yoga itself, but the challenge of following through with my commitment. I made another vlog talking about how shockingly difficult it was to stick to the challenge but ultimately realized that responsibility gives life meaning and it’s important to persevere during the creativity process and to just do your best.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence I thought “art” pertained to traditional things like painting, music and dance. Since I wasn’t highly talented in those things, I thought I was just a left-brained nerd that wasn’t a “creative person.” But it turns out that is complete bullshit because every single one of us are creators. If you’re alive and breathing, you too are a creative person in some way or another. Even if you’re a programmer, you are an artist. You are creating code. You have to be very creative to accomplish all your goals. So art is not just art in the traditional sense, but in the everything-is-creation-sense.
Little did I know before, my blog posts and YouTube videos are highly creative works of “art” as well. And I started to experience apparently what a lot of them do: An existential crisis every few months when they’re not in the flow.
So later, I made a video talking about the creative process and how to deal with the depression and anxiety that comes with it. It basically sheds the reality behind how difficult the process can be at times and how to get through it.
In my quest to better myself, I’ve been listening to a podcast called “Make Art, Not Content” which is absolutely fantastic as it’s full of short 8-minute long episodes that are quite deep. The last episode I heard hit deep in my soul and was actually super inspirational, so much so that I transcribed it so now you could read it while I have your limited attention.
So here goes the podcast summary:
The podcast starts out with a video recording of the narrators friend who is a content-creator saying that he’s doing a 40-day challenge to post content everyday for 40 days and if he doesn’t, he’s dead. Next day arrives and there’s nothing new and he even removes the video. His friend texts him to check up on him and he replies a few hours later: “I think I’m having an existential crisis. I’m worried about life, money and about my progress.”
THE PENDULUM OF DOUBT
So why does this happen? Why do artists keep going from high on life to depressed?
It’s because they don’t take care of their greatest artistic asset: their mind.
If your state of mind is peaking, then you’re in flow, prolific, unstoppable, you’re on fire.
But the moment your state of mind falters, it’s over. Nothing is getting done. State of mind is everything.
So how do you nurture yourself? How do you keep your state of mind sharp? How do you do self-care?
Well one thing for sure is, you don’t do it by watching Netflix every night. All that normal-people-self-care bull shit will only sink you deeper into self-loathing.
And you certainly don’t do it by going on social media over and over, hours at a time.
Do you realize that every time you reach for your phone, you’re basically saying to the universe, “No! I have no desire at all of reaching flow today.”
Unless you’re going on Instagram to enact a carefully predetermined plan to drop a few bombs to feed the audience that gives you life, you’re building a brick wall between you and what used to be your tremendous potential. Are you okay with that?
Solution: The best self-care you could give yourself as an artist is to go outside your comfort zone right now and do something to remind yourself why you’re incredible. Go create something, anything, because all that thinking is solving nothing. Think after you create. Cause your money problems won’t go away just by you dwelling on them. And you’re not going to get better at your craft just by day-dreaming about it.
People get so triggered when they hear me say, “Do more.” But saying do more when you’re talking about creating more art isn’t like saying work more hours on wall-street.
- Making art elevates you.
- Making art heals you.
It’s because you’re not making art that you feel like shit.
It’s because you’ve morphed your relationship with art from something beautiful and spiritual into drudgery. You’ve turned it into an act of duty instead of an act of love.
Everyone that’s fucked up inside always has the same problem: Not enough volume. They’re not finishing enough work. They’ve stopped dropping bombs. Most people haven’t even started. They’re still at the thinking-about-it stage. No wonder you have self doubt! No wonder you have imposter syndrome!
The next thing you make may suck, so hurry up and find out if it actually does.
Hurry up and figure out how much it sucks.
Does it suck and it’s not salvageable? Or does it suck but with time it could be a work of genius? Why are you endlessly thinking about things that you could just go find out about? Who convinced you that this was okay? Why are you already telling yourself something that you haven’t even created might not be good.
Furthermore, when you make things, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t turn out perfect on the first try. And why is it that when it doesn’t workout, your whole existence comes into question?
If you could tell that something you made sucks, then that means you’re winning. Why?
Because it means you have taste. And all you have to do now is keep iterating until your art matches your taste. It’s not hard. It’s fun if you let it be fun. Maybe… you’ve been looking at things all wrong.
Here are 13 signs that you’re looking at things all wrong:
- You sleep in.
- You think it’s all about you.
- You eat sugar.
- You think making art and breathing are different.
- You think that meditating is for other people.
- You approach social media, especially Instagram, without a clear vision of how to use it to improve your life or business.
- You think that any of this will be around in 100 years.
- You think being right is a bigger win than being compassionate.
- You haven’t started an email list to communicate with your audience. Or you have one and you don’t use it.
- You think that copying someone else’s creativity is being creative.
- You’re afraid of getting sick and you’re afraid of actually living.
- You don’t anticipate your highs like you anticipate your lows.
- You don’t believe that you could make a difference.
Work on these 13 points and you will make a difference.
Ever since becoming aware of all this, my state of mind has been on fire. I am realizing that making “content” (being creative) is as easy as breathing. It is only my mind that thinks it is “hard” or not allowing myself enough space to just let it flow naturally. Everytime I am about to pick up my phone, I ask myself, “Do I really not want to get into the flow state?” Alas, my to-do-list is growing every single day. There is so much to do now that I can’t keep up. This is good. This is really good. Completely flipped around from the last blog post I made on burning out. And I hope that this inspired you as much as it did for me.
Big shoutout to the “Make Art, Not Content” podcast and if you haven’t seen my video on the creative process, check that out next below!