Four Principles of Creative Resilience (by M.J. Miello)

Hand SunI wrote previously about the Doldrums (a kind of depression that diminishes our creative output) and the beliefs that cause (and result from) this state. Here are some beliefs that would protect a creative from the Doldrums.

The Principle of Time.

A work can’t be judged until it is finished. If a work is still in progress, it makes little sense to evaluate its overall quality. Sometimes works change drastically in the revision phase. Furthermore, the identification of flaws is vital to the revision process. If you see flaws in your unfinished work that means you are on the right track.

The Principle of Honesty.

The purpose of creating is to bring something that you have imagined into reality. If your work matches your vision, then you have succeeded. Everything else is secondary.

The Principle of Growth.

You are never done developing your skills (And recall that creativity is in fact a collection of skills). Your skills can only grow by their use. It would be as impossible to master an unused skill as it would be to learn to ride a bicycle by thinking about it. We grow through our actions. Your growth occurs as you walk the Spiraled Path of development.

The Principle of Purpose.

Creativity is done to bring something new into the world, filling the void that was there before. If you think about this long enough, you will find that it feels like a moral imperative. Your work is something that you must do. You do it because it is consistent with your values, and because you see purpose in it. When you remember this, then all doubt, and all self-criticism are irrelevant. When you are fixed on a goal, negative thoughts are just so much extra content that will be edited out in the final revision.

Keeping these beliefs in mind can serve as armor against the doldrums. When you find yourself doubting the quality of what you are working on, remember the Principle of Time. When you wonder if your work will be liked, or when you are stung by un-constructive criticism, remember the Principle of Honesty. When you see that one of your skills is not where you want it to be, remember the Principle of Growth. And when you are finding it difficult to start, or are judging yourself negatively remember the Principle of Purpose. Keeping these ideas fresh in your mind will ward off the Doldrums and keep the winds of inspiration blowing.

by M.J.Miello



photo credit: rishibando via photopin cc

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One thought on “Four Principles of Creative Resilience (by M.J. Miello)

  1. M.J. Miello says:

    These “principles” are really just beliefs. Do you have any other beliefs that keep you motivated even in the absence of positive feedback?

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