Creativity is hard. I’m not saying it’s any harder than someone who has to get up at 3 a.m. just to head into some factory for minimum wage hard, but it’s hard — mentally draining, really. Unlike that person who has to get up at 3 a.m., the average creative person is constantly working from the moment they wake up until the moment they sleep. Our brains are constantly thinking about the next big project. And even if we are working on that next big project, a new idea slips into our minds to try and distract us. We’re kinda like fish; show us something shiny and we’ll leave a project unfinished. Dory from Finding Nemo is our spirit animal.
The creative lifestyle is like planning a hiking trip up a mountain. Can you keep going up the original way you had planned and at the same speed? There’s going to be times where you’re going to slip and fall. You might need to go back down and re-evaluate your path. Maybe you just need to hike slower. Hiking up the mountain isn’t a race. It’s more or less about the journey.
I’ve been trying to reach the peak of Mt. Self-Doubt for a very long time. I think all creatives have their own mountain of self-doubt. Some are larger than others. I tend to ask myself “Am I good enough? Do I have enough experience? Is it right to charge this amount for a project? Am I really worth that price?” There have been times where I slipped and fell and rolled down. There’s also been times where all I really wanted to do was stop, make camp, and throw everything into a bonfire and just start over. But every time I slip, I stop. I re-evaluate. What’s working? What’s not working? What needs to change?
Right now, I feel like I had just slipped and fell a bit down the mountain. I’m stopping. I’m re-evaluating. And I know that there’s a hard decision that I need to make that I’m not quite ready to make. But I know if I slip again, it’ll be okay. I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m getting better. The journey to the peak of Mt. Self-Doubt might be long. Maybe I’ll never quite reach the peak. Maybe I’ll get really close. And you know what? Getting really close would be good enough for me.