by Kathy Fuller
I just finished reading the article posted last weekend on TVWriter.com about how we creatives are unappreciated. Since I’ve been doing a little personality checking and soul searching as of late, I found the article to be interesting, but missing a key reason why people get irritated with creative people–they often don’t follow through.
While some “idea people” also have that special combination of goal setting and discipline, many don’t. It’s not for lack of trying (okay, maybe it is) but many, many, MANY times a creative person with a brilliant idea will jump to the next brilliant idea as soon as the next brilliant idea pops into their heads. It’s how we’re wired.
Ideas bounce around our brains like pinballs, hitting the bumpers of excitement and fueling the lights in our eyes until we’re bursting with enthusiasm to tell someone, anyone, who will listen about our latest world changing idea. But once we’re tasked with executing that idea, we’re at a loss. We have to make a plan? We have to set a goal? We have to see this idea through to the end? Are you freaking kidding me?
This is so very true for writers. The successful writer isn’t one with the most ideas, he’s the one that finishes the novel, script, short story, etc. She’s the one who can slog through the boredom of writing an outline, a rough draft, editing and polishing, and working on the piece until it is near perfection. They are the ones who after their masterpieces are complete can market themselves to get that work seen and produced. Ideas are never a writer’s problem.
Non-creatives–the ones who don’t have the ideas but excel at execution–often stick with works because, hey, it works. It might be soul-sucking and mind-numbing, but at least there’s a product at the end of the process.
If you’re a creative that sucks at following through, take a long look at yourself. You’re probably never going to enjoy the mundane steps it takes to finish a project or to get that project out to the masses. The next story will beg to be told while you’re still writing the words Act One of your current project.
Ignore the inner voices. The idea will still be there (write it down on a Post It note if you have to) and focus on finishing. Be the type of creative that not only has amazing ideas but is also a whiz at implementing them. Tapping into both sides of your personality will make you a better and more successful writer. Then people will find you really annoying–but because you’re so awesome, you won’t even care.