I love encouraging others!
Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creative Encouragement Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter:
Protect Yourself from Creative Killjoys
Some people get so frustrated with their own creativity that seeing you enjoy your creative projects pisses them off. I call these people Creative Killjoys. The world is full of them, alas, and they come in several flavors.
One type of Creative Killjoy will regale you with facts and figures about how few artists “make it” in the world. They’re not trying to discourage you, they’ll claim, they just want you to be informed. Gee, aren’t they nice? For example, if you’re writing a novel, they tell you how few people make the New York Times bestseller list – but in a way that makes it seem like that’s the only way for a writer to measure their success.
Another tactic Creative Killjoys use is to compare you to someone who is more successful at the same thing. Perhaps they’ll show you a YouTube video of a 5-year-old piano prodigy effortlessly zipping through a rendition of a Chopin piece you’ve been struggling to play for several weeks.
Of course, in this example, a lot depends on the motivations of the other person. Maybe they truly thought you would find inspiration from seeing the 5-year-old piano prodigy.
It’s tricky because Creative Killjoys like to pretend they have your best interests in mind. “Oh, I just thought you’d like to see this,” they’ll claim, or maybe, “I told you these facts because I didn’t want you to have unrealistic expectations,” or whatever. Here’s the key: Your gut feelings will let you know if the motives behind this sort of thing are coming from a place of kindness or not.
So pay attention to how you feel. Even if a Creative Killjoy doesn’t want to admit they are trying to sabotage your creativity, if you feel like crap after their “well meaning advice” then there’s a good chance they are trying to discourage you for one reason or another.
My advice? Weed out the Creative Killjoys from your life. And if you are forced to live with one, find ways to insulate yourself from them when you work on your projects. Surround yourself with people who will support you. I don’t mean “yes, men,” either. There’s a time and place for editing and supportive critiques. But good editing and supportive critiques leave you feeling good about yourself rather than ashamed for letting the world glimpse your creativity. There’s a big difference!
What about you? How do you deal with Creative Killjoys in your life? Have you ever given up on a project after a Creative Killjoy bombarded you with “helpful advice”?
Follow me on Instagram & I’ll follow you back!
If you are on Instagram, I’d be delighted to follow you. Simply follow my photo feed (@TuiSnider) on Instagram and I’ll follow you back! Isn’t Instagram fun? I’ve gone from turning up my nose at the idea of cell phone pictures, to being an avid iPhone photographer. I even had my first gallery show last summer!
What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge?
Each April, bloggers from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet other bloggers.
To play along, all you do is make a blog post for each letter of the alphabet during April, then visit as many other bloggers as you can. In addition to my personal blog here, I’m also writing A to Z posts for the the Story Dam writing community. You can check those out by clicking here: Story Dam’s Writing Quotes & Encouragement
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Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.