Patience isn’t my strength. That’s why I make random, “wild abandon” art that takes seconds to draw and minutes to paint. Over the years I stopped judging the results and realized I actually LOVE them. They’re me.
But there are parts of the creative process I do have to wait for. My Radio Daydream podcast from last month was rewritten at least six times and because I recorded the early versions before I revised it, the labor that went into it was … nutty. But it felt good to spend that time getting it beyond the cringe stage.
There are points of the process where having the patience to go for “better” is more satisfying than accepting it as is when there’s an instinctual nudge that there’s more that can be done. I was much happier putting the extra time into Radio Daydream than leaving the idea half-baked. Perfectionism gets in the way when it never feels like enough.
A healthy creative attitude is to know when to say, “that’s good enough,” and be satisfied. Many of my clients have difficulty withever being happy with what they do until we use Kaizen to incrementally practice the feeling of joy that’s possible when they feel like they’ve done their best. It’s not an “all or nothing at all” prospect. If you’re one of those people who is never happy with what you’ve done, you can’t all of a sudden feel like you are. You can ask yourself, “What would it feel like to be just 5% happier with what I’ve done?” Just the asking will set in motion the possibility to experience more self-satisfaction.
My latest podcast, Idea Hotline, just flowed. It was about being impatient. The concept, “Write what you know” kicked in in a big way because I KNOW impatience. The podcast isn’t perfect, it’s close enough, and I’m happy with it.
Creativity can be an evolving friendship with yourself. Approaching like this:
- softens high pressured demands to do it a certain way
- decreases harsh competing and comparing to others
- eliminates the endless scolding of not doing or being enough
- and develops the kind of trust where you can relax because you know no matter what happens, resilience will develop for both your pursuit and the rest of your life.
Creating is fickle, unpredictable, a test of patience and perseverance. But it’s also an ever-new adventure with learning what a badass you are to stay with it.