Recently I’ve watched a few fellow creatives melt-down on Facebook. Yikes! Remember my post about pretending awesome? I raged against it, too, but have begun to submit to it. Yeah, it gets easier with practice, and while I’m only human and slip up, I’d like to pass on some advice to those younger folks just starting out in any creative field, whether you’re a writer, artist, or musician….
So there are a few rules when it comes to any creative career where you’re in the public spotlight. Whether you’re a writer, artist, musician, or actor – if you want to play in the big arena with the successful creatives, you have to accept that there are certain truths to being a public figure, even if you’re not a household name. If you pay attention – you’ll notice MOST uber successful creative people put these things into practice.
- No matter what happens, always appear calm, collected, and unaffected, unless tears are expected (in which case it’s okay to shed a few, but stay away from bawling/blubbering if you can help it). It’s okay to disappear and hide for a few days while you collect yourself and your thoughts.
- Before running your mouth about ANYTHING, carefully consider your choice of words. This is why it’s always good to collect yourself before making ANY public statement.
- Any job where you’re in the public spotlight will draw critics, assholes, and people who just don’t like you. Accept it and try to never whine about it publicly. In creative fields it is often pointless to respond to these people. Be gracious and ignore them. Hone your craft, work on the next project. What these types of people think of you is their business, not yours. Besides – this is only a distraction that keeps you from working on the next thing. (However, there was an instance where calling out a stalker in a blog post was one of the best things I ever did – because it made him realize I had a strong support system, and he realized he hadn’t isolated me at all and couldn’t scare me.)
- Always speak kindly of other creatives publicly, even if you’re secretly envious, critical, or just don’t like someone. Or – just say nothing at all. Cutting others down publicly does nothing to lift you up. (It doesn’t help privately either, but sometimes you have to vent to a trusted person to get something off your chest. That’s okay. Just don’t dwell on it. Concentrate on your own career.)
- Your highest priority should never be reviews, social media, or marketing. That’s not to say you should ignore these things, but they should never take up so much time that you’re not creating. Your highest priority is the next book, song, album, painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or part.
And there you have it. Five rules to live by (if you can). 🙂