the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
inventiveness, imagination, imaginativeness, innovation, innovativeness, originality, artistry, expressiveness, inspiration, vision, creative power, creative talent, creative gift, creative skill, resourcefulness, ingenuity, enterprise
In my previous blog post on becoming a wealthy creative I wrote about the need to take risk (If you missed it you can read it here ). Any kind of endeavour outside of your comfort zone will require a level of risk. Last week we had Alison Harris, founder of social enterprise Sk8 for Gr8 (check out what they do here and listen to the podcast here). Alison had some real gems that she shared with us, but something that stood out was the necessity to find some people who will support you on your journey as a creative. The best option would be to find people who are on a similar journey and connect with them on a regular basis.
Some of ‘The Inklings’
I love this quote that says “when you find people who not only tolerate your weird quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of ‘me too!’ be sure to cherish them. Because those weirdos are your tribe”. One of the most famous ‘tribe of weirdos’ were The Inklings. This was a group of writers and literary men (amongst them C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien) who met on a regular basis to discuss their work. One can only imagine the depths and topics of their conversations.
My experience has been that we tend to keep our work to ourselves and most often try to go it alone. I think there are a number of reasons for this. It’s possible that it’s that pesky old mindset around not being good enough/ I need to present something that is finished/ this is not good enough (yes…I mention this twice on purpose, because it’s such a big deal). Sometimes getting feedback on our work can be tough and it can feel so personal. If we are able to engage in supportive environments though and build enough trust with each other, then I reckon it is possible to create safe spaces to bring our work and give and receive input. I think the key is really to build friendships around this. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something official with an agenda and meeting plan, but rather an exchange of ideas, work and a healthy dose of encouragement. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know and having another person or a few other people giving this level of support can be a real game changer. Most often you are harder on yourself that anyone else would be. I have also found that when I encourage someone else, I get some courage too in the process.
Another thing that I have had to overcome over time is my idea of what constitutes a ‘valuable’ way to spend my time. I often used to think that spending time talking about my work or creative projects wasn’t as important as actually doing the work. I would feel guilty if I spent time chatting through some ideas with a friend…it felt too fun to be work. I am still working on this and a mindset shift has been necessary. What I have seen though is that when I do spend time with my tribe of weirdos I always leave inspired, encouraged, challenged and ready to get on with it again.
Look what happens when two weirdos get connected. This is how our business, The Stellar Effect was born.
Here are a few things that I have found helpful in developing my community of support (I have most definitely not got this all figured out, but love to share what I’ve learned):
- There will most definitely be people that you connect with really easily. This is a good place to start. Spend time getting to know this person/people and start building up a trusting relationship.
- Reach out to people who inspire you. There are a few people in my tribe of weirdos who I met because they were doing things that resonated with me and so connecting with them was easy and so valuable.
- Spend time with people who both challenge and encourage you.
- Take a risk (refer to previous blog if you are still terrified of this) and share your work even if you don’t think it’s good enough or finished enough or whatever reason you’re coming up with. It’s okay to have ideas/concepts/work in progress.
- Be intentional about building this into your life and create a value system that looks like ‘I need this in my life, it is a valuable thing to do with my time and so I will make it happen’.
- Don’t take everything personally…we can’t afford to be divas here.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Please comment below and feel free to share a tip with us on how you’ve developed collaboration in your life.