Free Tools 1: Feeling like your creative pursuit is a waste of time?
So, lets say you’ve got your creative life humming along, whether it’s a side hustle, a hobby that lights you up, or full blown profession.
But then some days, no matter how many goals you meet, compliments you get, or sales you make, it just feels like it doesn’t matter. It can easily start to feel like creativity is a waste of time, and you should be doing something more important.
Maybe a snide voice starts to whisper, “nothing you’re making is really that good.”
You scroll through Instagram and realize your stuff isn’t that original or making a difference and…in the end who cares about ART anyways?
Trust me, I get it.
From ages 7 to 17, I was raised in a country that was known in the media as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.” I’m talking about Haiti - if you haven’t checked out my ‘about’ or background blips.
Most of the adults I knew growing up were literally saving people’s lives, rebuilding after natural disasters (mom), were doctors working for pennies, or entrepreneurs creating local jobs when you couldn’t even get electricity or gas (dad).
So it may come as no surprise that most days now I still fight the feeling that if I’m not off solving systemic poverty then I’m wasting my life.
It’s nuts, but it’s true! So let me indulge in telling a little story.
A few years ago I decided to quit my government job in Refugee Affairs Branch of the Canadian Government and move back to Haiti. That’s when the anti-art voices in my head really ramped up in volume. Even though I had purposefully returned to the Caribbean to spend more time in inspiring environments, surrounded by creatives I admired and just being warm and happy, a part of me was totally against this game plan.
The inner voices told me that if I’m not raising money to mitigate human suffering, or shedding light on the underdog with serious photography at least, then I’m DEFINITELY not fulfilling my true potential. Does that ring a bell with you at all?
The very loudest, meanest voice in my head, one that sounds a lot like my middle school principle by the way, LOVES to say “Art is a self indulgent waste of time. It’s not helping solve any problems.”
It’s not helping?!
And that’s when I know for damn sure the voice is lying. That is my “gotcha” moment, and I recently journaled about it while on vacay over on the other side of this island (photo below).
This is what I say, and what you can tell yourself whenever it feels like creativity is a waste of time: you were born to create. And what you’re making DOES matter. You may not see it now, but your art is touching someone somewhere. So just keep going.
Please repeat the above mantra if you’re feeling like art doesn’t matter, or like your creativity is a waste of time. That’s nuts because…
So that’s all I have to say about that!
Just kidding, I will likely make a lot more posts about why art matters, about the power of journaling, and creating no matter how busy life gets. For one thing, it continues to be a battle between myself and my inner voices. Doubt it will end soon. So if even one person can relate than this was and will continue to be worth sharing!
Please feel free to comment below, as always I would love to hear from you lovelies.
In hope and creativity,