We all have creative dreams, from small scale ideas like bringing into being the next creative project that’s currently a sprouting little seed in our minds, to large scale, detailed ambitions of owning our own studios, having photo exhibitions, publishing a series of novels or releasing a film.
It’s so important to have these kind of dreams, to have something to aspire to, to move towards, and to keep us excited and motivated in our creativity.
But in reality, those dreams – every last element of every last one of them – are utterly futile. You might as well give up on them right now.
You might find this statement something of a shock and be thinking: “Hang on Dan, aren’t you supposed to be inspiring me, encouraging me, supporting me, not shooting down my dreams before they’ve even begun to evolve?!”
Yes, of course I’m supposed to be doing that. But I say what I said with a big condition attached.
All of your creative dreams are utterly futile IF you don’t take any action towards them.
Just sitting there, thinking about them all day long might well help you get in touch with them more, and see them as more colourful and vital and enticing, but it’s not going to actually get you anywhere closer to them. You’re just going to be someone with slightly prettier, shinier dreams than you had before.
The good news is that this futility is not something that is completely beyond you. In fact it’s something very much in your control.
Only you can achieve your creative dreams. No-one else can or will do it for you.
Of course there are people that will rally you on and encourage you along the way. (I hope I’m one of them.)
And there are people that will help you on a practical level, for example to find a studio, or a publisher, or design your website.
But you are the centre of all this activity. It is you who must follow your dreams, tiny step by tiny step, enjoying the scenery along the way.
Don’t expect to achieve everything in a weekend. And don’t be concerned if your dreams evolve along the way. They inevitably will, because as we develop as artists, and as people, what we seek, what we need, what’s burning inside us demanding to be created changes too. Roll with it, let it evolve, don’t fight.
Ok, down to the most important part. The doing. What can you do?
A great way to get started, once you’re clear about your dreams, is to just pick one, then list all the things you COULD do in the next 48 hours to move you a little closer.
Brainstorm and come up with all the possible steps you could take, until you have no more ideas. Then come up with three more ideas. It’s at these edges of possibility, of challenging yourself to find other ways of doing things when you think there aren’t any, that the most exciting and rewarding plans often fall in to place.
Then, well, you know what I’m going to say next, it’s been the underlying message of this whole conversation.
Take action. Do something. Get moving, Start creating.
Then tomorrow do something else. And the next day and the next. A step each day will get you absolutely anywhere you want to. Yes, even to all those beautiful creative dreams of yours.
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