If you or someone in your life is a really actively creative person, most, if not all, of these will ring true. You’ve dealt with the frustrations involved in creating the perfect piece, whether writing, art, music, or anything else in between. Some of the traits listed in this post are more a pitfall in ways, while others are a leg up for the creative types over anyone who isn’t one of us. Yes, I do say us. I am definitely one of the people I will be describing in this post. Not always a good thing, but it makes life interesting.
They are always working on too many things
This one rings so true for me at present time (with the long list of art I have to get finished, prep for the comic book convention I’m going to in less that three weeks, and all of the writing I still have to do to keep up my regular programming here on the blog), and I know it is true for so many others out there. People are are creative by nature tend to be so creative that it’s hard to ever get your to do list to shrink because there is always something else that is begging to be done.
They have trouble focusing on a single project
This is a big one. Those damn plot bunnies are so distracting for writers! When working on one project, the ideas for other projects will come along and distract these people, causing them to put down what they were working on so that they could scribble notes or doodle something so that their amazing new idea won’t be lost. Because of this, sometimes that person will set aside a project that is very close to being finished because this new idea takes over their entire thought process and refuses to be ignored until a later date when their schedule clears up.
They can’t stand sitting idle
This one may vary depending on the person. Myself, I can’t stand just sitting and not working on something. It could be drawing or writing, or even doing research or something, but I can’t just sit. Meditation sounds frustrating to me because that’s time I could be using to get something done. I can’t watch a movie unless I’m drawing at the same time. I get antsy just watching movies or television, and I am constantly checking the time to see how much longer it will be before I can get back to my project. I know this is the case with some other creative people I know as well, but only the people who are very invested their preferred art form. Even when they are sitting on the bus or when they have some free time at work, these people will be thinking about or working on their creative project. They can’t help it, it comes as naturally as breathing and can’t be shut off.
The one way they can easily stand idle is if they are so lost in thought about their project that they stare off into space for excessive amounts of time, losing track of time entirely and risking making themselves late for some previously planned engagement.
They get bored easily
This one relates to the point above. while some people might be content to sit in silence or zone out on bad television for their entire weekend, the more creative people will want to get more out of life. They need to be doing things, reading things, experiencing things at all times or they will get bored. Boredom leads to frustration, which can easily lead to fights between the creative and their partner, friends, or family. People who do not feel that urge to constantly live do not understand the motivation behind the creative’s actions.
They want to live life to the fullest
Nothing is ever enough for the highly creative person. They are constantly trying new things, dreaming about visiting new places, and planning new adventures. This means that they are more likely to try something once just to get the experience. It could be something small like trying a new creative hobby, or something as crazy as skydiving or deciding last minute to move to a new country. Highly creative people crave life more than anything, and their art is usually a reflection of all of the things they crave or hold dear in some way. Even if they don’t realize that’s what they crave, it ultimately comes down to needing new experiences and skills and wanting to constantly be learning and perfecting themselves.
They have to learn new ways of being creative
By this I mean that they pursue new hobbies. If they are primarily an artist, they might choose to try writing as well. Art can’t always portray what words can, just as sometimes music can evoke emotions better than a short story can. Highly creative people usually have one or two of the arts that they are very involved in, but dabble frequently or sometimes only occasionally in other forms of art just to keep things fresh. This could be anything from drawing, painting, sculpture, music, writing, photography, fashion design, or anything else that requires some sort of creativity or imagination. Anything that makes them push themselves.
They have a lack of self-confidence and an abundance of it all at the same time
This is a huge problem for creators of anything. They make something from nothing that they are so immensely proud of that they can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love it as well, but they are so afraid of showing people and not being accepted that they are torn between showing the world and hiding it away in a box forever so that no one will ever say anything bad about it. They look at their recent work and think how good it is, and that they are so much better than so many other people, but they are hurt so easily when something negative is said. And the lack of attention or acceptance for their work is enough to make them question their entire existence as creators. When it comes down to it, the highly creative person is conceited and thinks they have something important to say, but they are so afraid of someone telling them that they are wrong that most of their work is never seen by the world.
They are easily discouraged when something doesn’t work right away
This is another one of the more negative traits of the creator. If something doesn’t work the first time, they can become easily discouraged and walk away from that thing for a long time, or in some cases for good. This is usually the case with something new that they haven’t tried before, not a hobby they’ve had for years. It could also be a certain project, though. If they are trying to get the proportions right on a portrait, and they’ve tried erasing and redrawing the same thing so many times that the paper is becoming weak, they might trash the entire thing and work on something else.
This is also the case with big projects like trying to get a book published. Some writers will stop what they are doing if they are rejected by publishers. Some may even go so far as to think that their work is truly horrid and stop writing altogether. This is normal. Everyone goes through it – at least anyone who is deeply passionate about what they create. If you know someone who is going through this, do them a favour and give them some space. Just don’t give them too much space. They may need some time alone to get their thoughts straight, but then they’ll want cuddles or chocolate or wine and some kind words.
All of this will lead to them thinking that they aren’t good enough, or that they may not be good at all. This is a vicious cycle that all highly creative people go through. Let it cycle around before trying to help or trying to move on to a new project. No artist truly believes they are ever good enough, no matter what their preferred art form is. There is always room for improvement. But walking away will prevent any improvement from ever happening.
So if you have someone in your life who is constantly doodling, making notes, or doing anything else on this list, consider giving them some space to do their thing. They may be distant at times, or seem like they are ignoring you, but in reality they are so engrossed in their project that they need to work until they can’t anymore. Give them time alone to make that happen, and they will reward you with smiles and hugs and a true happiness they will only feel after they’ve created something they are proud of and love.