Friday, 30 November 2018

Motivation: Creative Endeavours Part 2

I haven't made a blog post in about 5 months. I'd like to tell you that it's because I've taken my own advice, and been hard at work on various creative projects. But that's not entirely true.

In truth, I've recently found that my own success isn't a very good motivator. I've always been a creative person, and loved to be part of things where I can put my talents and interests to good use. But these things are almost never done just for me. If I've written poems, it's been for a school or university assessment. If I've acted in a play, it's been for the companionship of good friends working towards a shared goal. Indeed, my most frequent creative output these days is the e-learning I write at work.

Watching BBC's The Apprentice is always good food for thought on this subject. Watching them bumble through the production of a half-decent kids comic or come up with an engaging advert for a new airline is often infuriating, with my partner and me yelling our own (better) ideas at the screen. But when it comes to the boardroom and the question of who will be fired, it's almost always qualities like drive, confidence and the gift of the gab that win the day over creativity, logic and originality.

And that's why I wouldn't make it as a CEO. I'm not competitive, I'm not ruthless, and I have no desire to be either of these things. But it comes back to bite me when I sit down to write something... and end up putting it off in favour of something more immediate. As I mentioned a few months ago, I'm quite good at setting myself deadlines or incentives, and I even follow them most of the time. But deep down I know that I'm only doing this for me, and there's probably something else I could be doing, with or for someone else.

But, as luck would have it, I'm now in a prime position to make a change. Over the last two weeks, I've had a few creative projects handed to me all at once: an original nativity play for my church back home, a flyer for a local book club, and another comedy-based endeavour I won't mention until the time is right.

This is perfect - flexing my creative muscles on projects led by other people, with deadlines that I have to make if I don't want to disappoint people. Suddenly I'm squeezing writing into my lunch breaks, watching less YouTube and having good ideas of my own. If I get my head in the game, I can turn this into a routine, but where it's my own ideas and projects on the page.

Thanks for your time. I'll keep you posted.