Hey Creative Friends,
Today, let’s chat about the creative journey. I like the fact that the word here is “journey” rather than something like “trip”. Because although the word “trip” just like the word “journey” implies traveling from one place to the other, there are important differences.
A trip suggests the idea of arriving at specific destination after a short period of time. So, when it ends up being a long one, we qualify that trip as “long trip”. On the other hand the word “journey” connotes the idea of an extended period of travel with ups and downs. For this reason, I believe the expression “creative journey” is an apt description for the path a creative person takes.
From my own experience, let me share with you why creativity is a journey and not simply a trip.
1. The Destination of the Creative Journey is Not Clearly Defined
Unlike when you book a flight to a destination for vacation or what have you, the creative journey has no defined end in sight. When you embark on this creative journey you just keep at it for all of your lifetime. There’s no point at which you say that I’ve arrived at being the creative person I want to be. Personally, I’ve been on this journey for several years now and I can’t see an end in sight and that’s totally fine.
When we don’t accept creativity as a journey, we put undue pressure on ourselves to perform and to become somebody who arrives at some destination in some defined period of time. However, for a creative person, all these things are difficult to define. Who’s to say how long it’ll take for you to become whatever it is you want to become.
2. Creativity is a practice that takes time
Creativity involves building a practice of playing, experimenting, learning, growing, failing and winning. This takes time. I often like to say that creativity takes time in two very distinct ways. It takes time to practice. In other words, you’ve got to make time for practicing consistently. That’s to say your creativity requires an investment of your time. The second way creative practice takes time is in the duration or passage of time.
Let me explain that second time constraint of creativity a little further. So, after you’ve carved out time to invest into your creativity, here’s what else needs to happen. You need to practice long enough for you to start seeing the benefits of your time investment. It’s not a one-time thing. Say, 30 minutes a day for 4 weeks and you’re done. No! It is requires a long term commitment for you to see growth.
3. Failure is not your destination
In as much as the destination of your creative journey may not be clear, one thing is. Failure is not your destination. The truth is, failure is part of the journey. Failure is a guidepost. When you encounter failure along the way, which I’ve encountered several times and I keep encountering all the time, it just means there’s more to learn. The lesson may be to try again. Or it may be that particular thing is something to avoid. Whatever the lesson, it’s definitely not that it’s time to quit.
In conclusion, this path of a creative person is a journey of a lifetime. You may go on some mini-trips along the way. Each trip has beautiful sights to see, and lessons to learn. But as I’m learning everyday, one trip does not a journey make. There’s always something new to learn. Each part of the journey has new discoveries, new mountains to climb and different wins to celebrate.
As long as you recognize that the path of creativity that you’ve chosen is a journey and not a trip, you can continue to stay and grow on that path.
Friend, I hope this encourages you on your creative path today.