After some contemplation, I finally made the choice to showcase my love of writing through opening up this blog. Creativity can be emotionally draining, annoying, or even physically painful after hours of hard work. Here are four ways to fail in the arts!
You lack motivation
Sometimes it seems like ideas fall from trees. “Wow, this is totally going to be amazing once I start” is believed. After a stressful day at work there seems to be no desire to begin. “I’ll start tomorrow.” Then tomorrow turns into the day after tomorrow. Next week will definitely be better. Actually, maybe the best time to start will be when there’s inspiration? Cross that out. The number or projects not making past planning stage is uncountable. Perhaps some projects are simply not meant to be? Maybe some of the pushed away ideas had the potential to greatly influence that particular field?
Regardless of whenever you will actually start working and planning, do not let the mindset of “it’s not worth it” constantly dominate! Failure and disappointment will unfortunately be part of the process, and it’s normal for doubt to linger around during the decision process. We’re all human after all. Just work it! No more excuses. Sometimes you have to force yourself to get somewhere. All of that torture is eventually overshadowed by satisfaction.
There’s no soul
While watching a movie it can be so obvious at times that not enough time was given into writing the script. Perhaps there was an over-reliance of clichés or the characters were just too bland to care about? Maybe it was mixture of both lazy writing and poor delivery? All projects are to a certain degree motivated by profit, but that shouldn’t be the main motivator and it shouldn’t be too obvious for viewers to see. General audiences often desire decent, meaningful art that does not leave them feeling like they wasted away time or brain cells. Hard work has to be dedicated. There should be meaning behind work, ideally.
But what exactly does it mean when it is claimed that an art piece has meaning or “soul”? The simplest way of describing something with soul is the pieces’ ability to connect with audiences in an intimate sort of way that transcends time as well as cultural barriers. Why is it that Star Wars has had such a cultural impact around the world? A lot of it had to do with the memorable, identifiable characters and a creative vision that exceeded expectations.
You can’t handle criticism
Here’s some bitter truth: even if you work hard for something, you might still fail miserably. It will take months to get the hang of any craft and learn what makes any creation a success, objectively more or less. What constitutes good writing? What makes a painting worth looking at? Evaluation is largely driven by taste. If, say, someone ends up strongly disliking your work for whatever reasons there may be, you should do not take it as a reason to swiftly quit all future projects once and for all. No one is a master at some craft with their first tries. Also, do not forget to hear all constructive criticism even if there are overwhelmingly positive reviews. There is always room for improvement!
You think you know it all
After learning at least a bit on the craft of, say, writing, there were moments when I thought to myself, “Oh, I wrote such an awesome piece.” Then I had the fantasy that everyone would absolutely rave in positive commentary. However, after receiving actual reviews it definitely didn’t go the way I imagined. My creation wasn’t so amazing after all. There was still an indefinite amount of things to learn on my end. There is nothing more foolish to think that you have reached the peak of talent or the level of skill you can possibly achieve. With so much arrogance it is guaranteed that your peers will surpass you. Failure and shame eventually comes.
Apparently, the infamous Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote: “Without virtue, it is hard to bear the results of good fortune suitably. Those who lack virtue become arrogant and wantonly aggressive when they have these other goods. They think less of everyone else, and do whatever they please. They do this because they are imitating the magnanimous person though they are not really like him.” Arrogance brings forth the illusion of strength before revealing crumbling self-esteem. Success is only a temporary achievement. The next project might be the biggest failure in one’s career. Even though experience in the field will undoubtedly help for whatever future projects, work with a healthy balance of optimism and realism.