You want to make more things, but somehow never get to it. Well, it’s time to show your supplies some daylight and get some glue on your fingers. You will make something today, because at the end of this post you won’t have any reason left not to. Are you ready for some tough love? Because here are 6 unconvincing excuses you might catch yourself thinking or saying at times:
1. I don’t have the time.
Stop lying to yourself. You already know that it’s never a time issue and always a priority issue. And you don’t need me to tell you that. When you say ‘I don’t have the time for that’, what you are really saying is: ‘I don’t think that is important enough to make time for’. And if to you it’s not important enough to be creative and make awesome things, then that is perfectly fine. But stop telling people you’re not doing it because of time. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. Learn to prioritize and manage yours (throwing out your TV might be a good start).
2. I’m not creative.
Everybody is born creative. You are human. You have a brain. You can form ideas. Telling yourself you’re not creative is the worst thing you can do to your creativity. Creativity starts with the belief that you are capable of creating something new.
Also, creativity doesn’t necessarily equal running around with a glue gun. It’s much broader than recreating DIY-projects you found on Pinterest. I know many programmers who are probably far more creative than some others who make the same (beautiful) crochet beanie time after time in a different colour. Of course many people who love crochet are very creative people. My point is that it’s not about your result; it’s about your approach.
You get to decide how you solve problems. You get to decide where your mind wanders. You get to decide whether you are creative or not. Creativity grows stronger with training, but eventually is just a mindset.
3. I don’t have the skills.
Nobody starts at an expert level. We all get to be shamefully terrible at a lot of things before we start to get better results. Don’t see your not-up-to-your-skyscraper-high-expectations-results-on-your-first-try as a discouragement. See those results as developmental steps needed to become insanely great at doing something you might love. And if you don’t take it from me, then take it from a name with more fame. Because even Picasso knew that you need to suck at things first, before mastering them. In his words: “I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” You might not like it, but the only way to gain skills is by actually trying, failing, and eventually getting better, step by step. Don’t let that discourage you. Let it be a motivator.
4. The conditions aren’t right.
You really want to carry out that one crazy idea you have had on your mind for a long time, but only after you a) finish painting your house, b) finish that deadline, c) find a job, c) feel less tired, d) clean your room, e) other random reason X which serves as a perfect excuse for procrastination. There will always be things that are important and/or urgent. Don’t fool yourself by suggesting that once you finish your task you won’t have a new task awaiting to be finished as well, before you can really start. Nope. Decide to create things despite of the conditions you are in, not because of them. Sometimes it means making your creative dreams a priority and actively creating the conditions you need.
5. Others will judge me.
Gluing unicorn piñatas together and baking edible nacho hats may invite some raised eyebrows from certain people around you. Whose exact judgment you fear, and for what exact reason, may vary from person to person. However, we all have people around us who we think will hate what we create. So what do you do about that close family member who still secretly wants you to be a successful engineer and thinks playing with glitters will keep you from achieving that, or that vague acquaintance who makes you feel awkward by their blank stare when you enthusiastically explain how you built an insanely awesome blowing bubble machine?
Well guess what, it’s not their party and while the unicorns and happy, enthusiastic, passionate people get invited they get to stay home. Because they’re no fun. Nobody wants to sip rainbow cocktails from flamingo straws with them. Because they wouldn’t even taste the difference rainbows and flamingos make.
Do you really want the limited perspective of others on the world limit your world as well? “No”, is the answer you are looking for. You get to decide how you live. Don’t let the opinion of others become a block in being the most awesome person you can be.
6. I don’t know what to make
So what if you believe you’re creative, set apart some time, decide you will be patient with yourself to develop your skills and set your fear of what others think aside, but simply don’t know what to create?
Well, there are different ways to find ideas. For example you could look at concrete ideas of others for inspiration or actively come up with creative ideas yourself.
Nowadays the first one is easier than ever. With DIY-blogs and sites like Pinterest and StumbleUpon you have an infinite source of ideas on the Internet to get started. Be cautious that your search for ideas doesn’t become its own form of procrastination though. Also, you don’t need to copy what you see exactly. You are free to twist it in any way you like. Add to it. Transform it. Give the idea your personal touch.
When you want to come up with your own ideas, start with your interests and a potential direction. You might not know what you want to make, but perhaps you do know that you would love to make your home more beautiful and personal. Then brainstorm ideas of how you could do that. I wrote more in-depth before about how to come up with new ideas, what principles are important and included a creative idea-generation exercise to get you started.
That’s it. I hope you have no more excuses left. What are you going to make today? Tell me, I want to know!
And if you’re drop-dead-serious about carrying out your amazingly creative ideas, you can even take one minute to make a solemn vow in the comments sharing what exact project you’re going to start/continue/finish at what exact moment today and for how long.
Because I recognize a ‘perhaps I will try that later’ excuse when I see one.
Make a vow to yourself to create something today. Even if it is small. Even if it’s only for half an hour. You know you want to.
Image by Jeshu John of DesignersPics
July 8, 2015 at 09:55
Weeral zo inspirerend en fijn om te lezen! Ik heb een tijdje Pinterest gehad maar die onophoudelijke stroom aan mogelijkheden was zo overrompelend voor mij, dat ik meer tijd besteedde aan het pinnen van ideeën dan ze effctief uitvoeren :/ Ik haal het meeste inspiratie uit blogs (van mensen die ook maar mensen zijn en dus geen onophoudelijke stroom van content creëren). Maar ook uit materialen: soms zijn bepaalde kleuren of texturen zo mooi dat je er wel iets móet mee doen!
Vandaag ga ik beginnen met een nieuwe jurk! Ook al heb ik koffers te pakken en zal er een gat van enkele weken vallen in mijn creatief proces, alles is beter dan het naaien nog een maand uit te stellen :)
Dank je voor je fijne tekstjes. Die vormen voor mij ook een grote bron van inspiratie en, belangrijker, zetten mij effectief aan om iets te doen met die inspiratie!
July 8, 2015 at 11:11
Ohh dat heb ik ook met materialen! Ik heb onlangs een kastje gemaakt voor al mijn hobby materialen, en ik raak in een mum van tijd geïnspireerd als ik gewoon wat laatjes opentrek. Ik ben heel benieuwd naar je jurk. Wat voor jurk/model wordt het?
July 8, 2015 at 16:24
That was so motivating! Thank you!
July 8, 2015 at 16:27
You’re most welcome! Any ideas yet what your next creative project will be?
July 8, 2015 at 19:22
This is so true. I find myself making excuses a lot and it really does set you back. That’s why I started blogging again. It really helps with my creativity and motivation. P>S Nacho hats are amazing in my book.
July 8, 2015 at 20:27
Good for you! I also find blogging very inspiring. It somehow gives you a reason to give more priority to your creativity I think. Yeah i think it’s time to make a nacho hat again. Probably at Joran’s & my birthday party coming up again ;)
July 8, 2015 at 21:12
Yes, yes and YES! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I’ve been procrastinating writing my first novel for years now for almost every single one of these reasons. This post put my feelings into a real, and somewhat funny, perspective. Thank you. I feel motivated and inspired! :D
July 8, 2015 at 22:24
Yay! It makes me really happy to hear that. What is your novel about?
July 15, 2015 at 19:14
This is a really great post, M. It’s so easy to make excuses, and it’s way harder to think optimistically and actually START and FINISH. I really like this list, and I think everyone needs to read it!
July 17, 2015 at 13:18
Thank you! Yes, starting can be tricky, but hopefully this post helps ;)
August 12, 2015 at 18:07
6 tips are too good. Great post in this site. I like it.