Few vocations are as mythologized as creative ones.
Writers are drunks who edit sober, they’re sad and, unlike a pizza, cannot feed a family of four.
Musicians are extroverted yet overly sensitive promiscuous pixies and every single visual artist was told by their 5th Grade math teacher that they wouldn’t amount to anything.
While most of us accept these as cliches and hyperboles, there are some beliefs about creative pursuits that are untrue but deeply help by both creatives and non creatives.
In this post, I’d like to dispel 3 common myths about being a creative that everyone should stop believing:
1. Anyone can do it professionally!
I blame the low barriers of entry for many creative pursuits like writing, blogging and photography for this.
People think that just because anyone can pick up a camera or a pen or share their thoughts to the internet then that means it’s easy to turn it into a career path or hustle. But just because something is easy to start does not mean it’s easy to follow through.
Don’t believe me? Then how come all these years later I still haven’t caught up with Supernatural or Grey’s Anatomy? Jokes aside, being a professional creative requires a dedication and tenacity that most people don’t consider…if or until they do it.
2. Quick successes are the norm, not outliers
From promises by other creators that you can make X amount of dollars doing Y creative thing in Z amount of time (a day, a week…even an hour) to so many influencers and tiktokers gaining large followings from seemingly nowhere…creative success has never seemed so easy.
This leaves so many creatives who are still waiting for their big moment feeling inadequate and like the failures. But the truth is for most creators, success is a slow burn that they build upon year after year.
3. Failure is impossible as long as you believe in yourself
Although well-meaning, this is one of the most toxic beliefs in creative circles. “Just keep posting”, “just be consistent”, “just believe in yourself” all sound very good and in all honesty they are things that every creative person should do BUT if there is a formula for success then these trite statements aren’t the full equation.
There we are — 3 Myths about creating that need to die!
Know of any other misconceptions about being a creative? I welcome your thoughts.