HOW THE CREATIVE MIND MANIFESTS DEPRESSION AND SELF-LOATHING
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I was an artist. I still am. I’m a poet, a sculptor, a writer, and an ass-kicker.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the lies I tell myself and the truths I refuse to believe. You probably resonate with them if you’re as caught up in the creative process as I am.
Three lies creatives tell themselves:
- My work isn’t any good. I’ve lost my skills. I never had skills. I should probably work at a bank, since all I’m good for is copying down other people’s information.
- Nobody else enjoys my work, even if it is good. There’s no market appeal.
- I’m deluding myself with thoughts of destiny, purpose, and giftedness. A mature adult is supposed to just buckle down and make a living. Art is a hobby. I’m a slob.
Now that you’ve heard excerpts from the soundtrack in my head when I’m feeling down, let me also invite you to listen to the powerful truths with which I combat my despair.
Three truths creative forget to believe:
- I need to learn from my mistakes and stop expecting immediate recognition. My mantra? Work harder. Get better.
- Good work finds an audience. Stop moaning about the absence of an audience and make one up. Broaden your scope. Pimp your work.
- Mature artists abandon the juvenility of self-loathing. Art is prayer. Art is therapy. Make it better. Then, make more.