I learned a valuable lesson recently — work now, dream later. Maybe it’s actually a lesson I’ve been learning slowly all my life, but it wasn’t until the last year or two I finally got the actual point of various experiences I’d had.
Let’s face it, it is hard being a creative. And I don’t just mean being creative. Mathematicians, physicists, accountants, and lawyers are all hugely creative in their respective areas, but I mean to actually be ‘a creative’. I think the difference is the way the mind works, because the things that stimulate the mind of a creative aren’t what gets endorphins firing in the mind of a ‘doer’. Let’s call the creatives ‘dreamers’ — doers and dreamers.
Most creatives are, let’s face it, dreamers. It’s not that we don’t like the hard stuff or the challenge of getting one’s hands dirty, it’s just that for the most part we find the technical nitty gritty of things that don’t directly involve a creative task (writing music, painting, designing video games for example) excruciatingly boring.
Dreamers can be organized though! We are thorough, methodical, painstaking machines when it comes to our passion, to the point of obsessive perfectionists even! But all that love doesn’t necessarily pay off as a whole. And that’s the key isn’t it? The whole, the big picture, the end game.
Work now at the difficult things to make those dreams come true. Really this is one of the last things most dreamers wants to hear! After all, what’s work without the vision? What use is leg work without the invention, the art, the music? What’s networking without something awesome to push? Nothing, I agree, but equally if you flip it, why pour your heart and soul into something if it doesn’t contribute towards bettering your own existence? Let me put it this way, if you can’t eat, you can’t create. If you have to slog 8+ hours, 5 days a week at a day job where everyone thinks your ‘hobby’ is cool, you can’t create (as much as you’d like to). If you are consumed with the stress of not being able to pay your rent and bills, you’ll struggle to create. So at the very least, dreamers should want to be financially, mentally and physically able to be creative.
I sound convinced, I am now! But I wasn’t always. It’s probably taken me far too many years to get it. If I’m not doing every thing possible to make my creative pursuit (in my case music) the means to which I earn a living, I’ll always be splitting myself in two, doing two things with only half of my heart in either.
It's cool having ideas as they may lead to hopes and plans for the future, but it’s cooler to actually make those ideas a reality. We can only really do that by being totally upfront with ourselves about the work those ideas will entail while they are pulling at our heartstrings! Thanks to all the people in my life who have brought this message home, and who have motivated me to be the kind of dreamer that can also do the work — you know who you are.