“Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.” – Julia Cameron
One of the difficulties all creatives face, is having faith; in yourself, your idea, your product, this perhaps intangible thing that you have to not only believe in yourself but get others to believe in too! Scary, but not impossible, and absolutely necessary – no matter who you are. In a great article from one of our favourites; “It’s Nice That”, Yancy Strickler talks about the creation of Kickstarter and getting people to believe in his concept;
“I think artists tended to get it because they know it’s f***king hard to make stuff. The conversations we had with people who were not in the creative space, who were more on the business side, were much more difficult. They had this core question that we came up against again and again which was, “Why should I give someone money?” And we were like, “Because you think it’s cool, or you like their work or you want it to happen, or you get bragging rights.” But for them, the objective, Adam Smith, rational capitalist system of belief it required a leap of faith and I think for certain segments that was hard for them to get. It’s an interesting challenge to explain what something is when it doesn’t really exist.”
This is a familiar challenge no matter what kind of creative you are. I am reminded of the enigmatic Sheridan “Shed” Simove at Januarys’s Creative Shootout where he talked about the importance of avoiding “Negnets” (negative magnets), “They can kill your idea with one comment or disapproving look.” Shed’s advice is to avoid Negnets, but there will come a time, around about the leap, when you will have to take a deep breath and just jump, because hand in hand with faith, comes risk.
One of the key traits of creative people is that they’re risk takers. They’re not afraid (or they are afraid but do it anyway) to put something new out into the world that might not be understood. Without risks there are no rewards, this is especially true of creativity when it can feel like a part of yourself you are offering up to be judged…but hey, what’s the worst that could happen?
99% of success is built out of failure – Charles Kettering
An interesting concept in an article called “Creativity takes a leap of faith” is that risk- taking takes practice.
“Like everything else that you want to be good at, risk-taking takes practice. You have to put your ideas out there over and over again, and eventually it feels like a regular everyday thing. It’s just like getting up on stage. You can tame the worst stage fright if you have enough stage time.”
Creativity coach Danielle Raine offers advice as to how to become more comfortable with risk eventually shredding the need for certainty. Another important part of the leap is to learn and embrace the value of failure. Failure is valuable because it offers us the opportunity to learn and improve – cue Tony Stark Iron Man suit montage. Cliché’ or not, the only way to truly fail is to not even try.
“People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” Peter Drucker
As always WardWilliams Creative are available to provide practical help and advice about funding opportunities, grants, loans, writing business plans and other elements to help you take the leap.