There is a notion—one that the “creative class” has done a fair job of perpetuating—that we (creatives) are somehow touched, tapped and deemed special in the realm of clever thought and artistic endeavors.
But possessing a “gift”—special as it may be—has a tendency to, at times. breed entitlement and complacency.
Why do I say this? The age-old notion that "nothing worth having comes easy" rings quite true. Rarely do we place real value on something that did not come by way of some sort of hard work. Understandably, that sounds like a quip from every parent on the planet, but in this case it holds water.
Directly to the point; what level of complacency would you admit to? Are you entitled or lazy when it comes to your craft, your skill-set, your professional development—and dare we ask—even your life as a so-called “creative” person?
More than any sector of society, we creative types tend to cite some sort of “block” when we are having trouble activating our gift. We then look for "inspiration" to help us break the blockage seemingly damming up our artistic flow.
This is a bit of a problem. Calling on the “muse” or waiting for something external to fill us with the energy to create lessens the responsibility on self. In marches the entitlement. It literally frees us from the responsibility of being caretakers of our skill and creative abilities.
What if it’s not inspiration that we need? I theorize that it is a question of motivation, not inspiration. If indeed we are given a natural inclination to be so creative, a “block” could not possibly hamper our endeavors. We are the inspiration for the world outside of us, for those less inclined to be so creative. We simply need to find the motivation to continue our exploration into how we might share our view of the world with others.
The truth is: complacency and laziness is far easier than the alternative. We cop-out in small ways so many times a day that we don’t even bother to keep track. For example, I dropped a few crumbs on my kitchen floor and, sadly, had to guilt myself into picking them up and not just kicking them to the floorboard. I was half a second from copping-out on something as simple and immediate as picking up something I had just dropped.
How often have we done this in our careers, but then wrongfully placed the blame or responsibility on something or someone else? How often have we cut a corner here or there, or not done our due diligence in exhausting all possibilities? How often have we copped out in the smallest, almost unnoticeable ways in our chosen crafts and careers? We hemorrhage the opportunity to keep ourselves going all the time, yet we quickly and very often cite "lack of inspiration."
I ask you: Are we simply being lazy?
BTW: Steve Gordon, Jr, the author of "100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers," will be ranting about this in his session, What it Takes to Be A 24/7 Creative" on June 23 at the Creative Freelancer Conference in Chicago.