If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.

― Neil Simon

Risk Taking for Creatives

Connecting Invisible Dots

If there’s anything a creative person does, they risk presenting ideas that previously hadn’t be realized as connected. What this functionally means is that creative people discover things and then, in some artistic way, present them to the world.

Writers (OK, Other Creatives Too)

Right now, I expect I’m talking to fellow writers. That’s who largely reads my blog. Writers are exceptionally creative because our world is medium-less. That is, we don’t need paint or clay. The quality of the wood in our clarinet is irrelevant, you might say. Writing can come from a guy using the back of an envelope and a borrowed pen. A great computer won’t make him better. More efficient, maybe, but his ideas are not related to a tool.

Of course, all artists fall into this window of creative humans. So, yes, musicians, visual artists too. Who else? I don’t know, but you know who you are.

A tragic thing is that some creatives never risk. They don’t jump. They don’t leap into the unknown.

It could be they aren’t artists at all. An artist pushes through fear. They might still be afraid of rejection.

Signs of a Fearful Almost Artist

  • Their next major piece remains finished. It could be if for a bit of work sent to the public.
  • Their major work is done but not finished (editing, framing, etc.). That last push is what they need.
  • They talk about their work rather than work on their work. This could because they are looking for the approval of others before they continue.
  • They don’t make space in their week to work. Do they believe in it enough to make it happen?
  • They are critical of other similar artists who have gotten their work out there. Easier, it is, to pick on those succeeding rather than put ourselves out there to receive the same abuse.
  • They give their work away exclusively or they price it far below market value. Are they afraid it isn’t worth more?

Certainly, there are non-fearful reasons for the above. We’ve all been there:

  • A writer might’ve had both arms eaten by a dragon (from which he valiantly protected a young virgin) and cannot type. He’s an armless hero.
  • The musician was captured by a pirate and forced to play “Piano Man” in a shanty town bar.
  • The painter was at seaside painting a gorgeous view of a harbor, but a tsunami came and washed all the paint off before it dried… three times this week.

This issue matters to me because I get it. I’ve explored it before and I will again. Why?

I deal with it myself.

Your thoughts?

(Like the Joro spider? Me too!)

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