It’s a matter of focus
I just read a blog post from someone stating that they have given up on being creative. They basically stated that:
-They started a family and it’s SO HARD they have no time to create, especially with a job, keeping up on the news, etc…
-In your 30’s you can’t keep up with the latest trends. Things are moving too fast. The example given was that they have a GREAT idea for an app, but by the time her was able to put it together, someone else had gotten one out (damn millennials and their endless free time)
-There’s too much product out there, so you’ll just get lost in the masses
Blah. Blah. Blah.
Reading between the lines, it’s all of the standard excuses people use to give up on things they aren’t really passionate about.
When I was newly single, I tried my hand at Stand Up comedy. I went to open mike nights, I crafted current events jokes and was starting to get some headway, but there were guys who did 5 or 6 open mike nights every Monday night. They hustled for gigs, played for $25 at nursing homes, took every booking they could get their hands on. Me? I wasn’t that driven, and I gave up on it after about 6 months. It was a hobby, not a passion. So, I keep up the hobby with my Weekly News Update podcast.
Writing, on the other hand, I always found time for. When I was raising my son, I read (to him or when he was playing), I wrote once he was in bed, when he was watching TV, when he was outside playing, etc… I wrote during slow times at my job. I carried a notebook with me everywhere I went. I read in order to be a better writer.
Now, I work two jobs and I am creating. I create at a level that is pretty astounding to other people, but it is all a matter of focus. I don’t watch football, because that’s three and a half hours I am not creating. I don’t watch a lot of TV, and what I do watch is mostly stuff to feed me information or learn storytelling. I also watch when I am at the gym (one of the few time I allow myself to multitask). I’m not a real social person and it takes someone incredibly special to get me to give up a night of mixing, recording, writing or planning to go out and spend time with them. Not because I hate people, but because I have shit to DO!
It’s not age. It’s not competition. It’s focus. What is important to you. Are you willing to give up sitting on the deck with a beer and chatting with the neighbors to have something completed?
There’s nothing wrong with not having that focus. Some people have other priorities, and that’s fine, we are all very different people. Some people care more about hunting down their next relationship that creating things. Some people care more about football than telling a story or making a painting. Some people would rather travel or be social or party or whatever.
Prince had a vault full of songs, movies and other things because he was driven to create. There aren’t a lot of stories about Prince hitting the clubs to party all night unless he was performing.
Don’t blame your age, your family or anything else.
The reason you aren’t creating is because you aren’t sitting your ass in the chair, focusing, and doing the work. That’s it.
“Someone already did it.”
Fine, do it better. Do it differently. Find a new method. People have been writing three chord songs about a girl they love for a hell of a long time, they still have new ones come out every week.
“I can’t find an audience.”
So? Keep plugging away. If you are doing it for fame or popularity, you have no control over that other than putting out the best work you can and finding ways to get it to people.
“I don’t have time.”
You have as much time as everyone else. Stephen King was a broke dad working as a teacher when he wrote Carrie and all of those short stories that were collected in Night Shift. Turn off the TV, quit hanging out at the club and work.
“I’m too old.”
Yeah. Right. And Tom Wolfe’s novels after he turned 30 were all crap, right? Age isn’t the issue. Attention is the issue.