Have you noticed the unflattering stigma surrounding all creatives?
While some artists and deep-thinkers may be like this, you can strive to prove the naysayers wrong. There are plenty of creative people that have self-motivation in spades, and push past obstacles to excel on the job every single day — whether they “feel it” or not.
Here, we’ve tapped some successful creatives to share how they meet their goals.
1. Sit down and put in the time.
“When it comes to motivation, forget inspiration. Sit your butt down in front of the computer and write. Treat it as a profession, as a job and you can master the necessary skills. Wait for inspiration and you’ll still be waiting while those willing to put in the time are getting published. The inconvenient truth of writing is that if you want to succeed as a writer you’ve got to want it badly enough that you’ll want do all the little things necessary to make it happen. If you don’t want to do those things — the first and foremost of which is putting in your time — maybe you don’t really want to be a writer.”
–Barry Maher, author and speaker
2. Emphasize the positives
“Infuse your working space with inspiring quotes, photos, posters, music, or knick knacks. It’s so easy to dwell on failures, so make a point to emphasize your accomplishments. Find a place to proudly display examples of your own creativity. Refer to it often, especially when you are feeling frustrated. Set reasonable short and long term goals. Work towards them, follow through — and reward yourself when you achieve the difficult ones.”
–Nellie Jacobs; artist, author and creativity consultant
3. Let exciting new projects motivate old chores.
“As a professional artist with a brick and mortar studio, as well as an active online business, I find myself pulled in many directions daily — and many of them not creative, like sales, SEO, listings, taxes and employees. So I started the morning trend of arriving at the studio an hour before any employee — no noise, no kids, no clients. Just me and my creative chaos. I move around the studio and gallery, making both mental and physical checklists of due dates and unfinished ‘must-dos.’ In the process of listing what needs to be finished, I often grab a canvas or board that isn’t on the list and slide it onto one of the tables — something fresh or different, something that I will look forward to doing ‘just because.’ It is the excitement of the different or the new or the challenge of transformation that motivates me to tackle the work on the ‘must finish’ list, and inspires better work altogether.”
–Kijsa Housman, artist
4. Get others (smart, reliable creatives) involved
“I surround myself with a creative people network — friends, colleagues, associates that are also creatively inclined. We spur each other on, we motivate each other. When I see one moving in a productive direction, it’ motivates me! I also read and listen to success stories. I subscribe to Fast Company and several other print and online creative business journals. I just sent my product development team to the local Tedx Talks, because there’s nothing more powerful than someone else’s testimony of how they ‘got it done.’ Those talks present successful journeys that show the result of hard work, dedication and effort. Finally, brainstorming and collaborating [is important]. Sharing ideas and talking about possibilities with creative colleagues is the most exhilarating feeling ever. You fuel each other’s brain fire. When you collaborate on a project goal, you hold each other accountable.”
-Delanie West, creative culture curator; Vice President at Faber-Castell USA
5. Clear your mind.
“When I wrote my first book at age 66, I would go for a bike ride or a swim whenever I hit a low, unmotivated moment. The rhythm gave me new ideas and sent be back to the computer to write.”
–Ruth Nemzoff, Ed.D.; author and resident scholar at Brandeis University
Are you a creative? Do you regularly work with creatives? What have you learned along the way? How do YOU get motivated and keep the productivity going? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.