Getting Out of Your Own Way

Drew Spence from the Dynamic Universe speaks on Getting Out of Your Own Way and what it means to overcome certain obstacles- standing in the way of your ultimate success. This is a creative discussion or a discussion for creatives.

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So I see this advice a lot, but I’m sure what all the platitudes that follow mean. Like, the big question is HOW. It’s great advice, but what do you mean exactly and HOW do I beat this? So here is a bunch of items. I struggle with this too.

1) Planning your success. Or forcing an exact plan forward. It must ONLY happen in the way you choose for yourself. You can’t choose how you’ll win; all you’ll do is stop or avoid successes pathways that are NOT in your plans.

2) Creating a plan that has no guaranteed victory. Like what will happen if every step fails. Usually involves, I’ll put up the money or do it myself.—that should be the last resort. If all else fails, I will WIN by doing XYZ.

3) Creating a plan that requires steps or people beyond your control or influence. I hear plans that say “When I do this, they’ll do this”  “After they do this, I’ll do this” or …

4) You don’t know until you know.  I was going to use sex a metaphor, but The Dynamic Universe says different. So instead, let’s talk about a house and how you can only know so much by looking at the outside. You have to enter the front door to talk about the living room. You have to get past the living room to speak about the kitchen and you can’t really talk about the bathroom until you use it. I find THAT is how many of these doors work. While your idea is an idea, it’s only an idea. When you execute it, then you can now envision the next step. This really speaks to experience and how, until you have an experience, it’s hard to gauge the next step.

5) Worry about WHAT you need to worry about. I see artists who haven’t completed a work, worry about advanced issues. What if my readers..? And you don’t have any. I see artists without a portfolio or completed work railing against fantasy restrictions from Marvel and DC – as if there’s some imagined pressure from companies and people who never heard of you and have no reason to care what you do. That’s a waste of brain energy and gets in the way of being productive.

6) The voices in your head.

                a) This other person is BETTER. I said styles make fights and there’s enough content that even second place means victory. It’s not the BEST or else fail. People read more than one book. I’ve felt the pressure to make enough content -or you think they ONLY read your work.

                b) You’re a hack. Training leads us to trust our instincts and make use of the heightened awareness. If you feel that you are cruising and NOT putting in enough work, that’s a warning that it’s become too easy and you are not challenging yourself. You are not experimenting and pushing yourself. I mentioned the paradox of spending money and watching tutorials and learning /studying enough to make the craft easier. If that pays off, you reach a point where you should be working hard and your art shouldn’t be HARD WORK. If creating your art is “hard work” then you haven’t mastered your tools or technique. Art should be something you work hard at, not hard work.

                c) The time isn’t right or you are not ready. Waiting for that perfect moment. I gave you the answer to the question of WHEN you should start releasing your work in a wider manner. If people suggest shares, like you should put your work on social media – or have you shown this to anyone? Those are clues that it’s time to get out there. When they mention money and compensating you for your efforts; it’s time to turn pro and go commercial.

                d) Next one will be better. “My next album will do it.” and you have no other, different plan than ‘more of the same- just better’. It’s the business/promotional part of your plan that failed, not the quality of the product. There’s a difference between re-working something that was sub-par and doing it again, but better. So to add clarity, there’s someth9ing out there that’s doing well, that you think is trash. The fact that it “sucks” and is winning means that your artistic opinion is NOT the sole reason it works or doesn’t work,. And once you see something that you think is garbage making way and making people successful, it’s time to let go of the notion that the quality of you art or creative pursuit is the main factor between success or failure. This boils down to business decisions, and that’s beyond our scope so we’ll save that for another day.

In the end, the voices in your head are a warning signal and show you where you need to place concentration. They are the subconscious fears that all artists have. The point is to listen and DO something about them. The voices in your head are important and are linked to a survival instinct. They warn us of danger and should be a reason to move forward and act and NOT to sit still and worry. No problem was ever solved from worrying. You need a plan of action to deal with those voices. Listening to them and then being paralyzed (be them) is another obstacle to overcome. They will always be there. What you do about them is what counts.

                7) Having a good idea versus being a thing that generates good ideas. I’ve seen artists who have hung on to a good idea for so long it becomes an obstacle. They can’t move beyond the fantasy that this ONE great idea is what they will build their ultimate success.  Have more than one good idea. Sometimes the solution is to get that (first/big) idea out — Write it down or record it, dictate it so that the idea exists and allow your mind to work on the next part or idea.  You have an album that contains all your best songs to date. Well, imagine that album came out. What comes after that? I have a superhero team that does ABC and that should shake things up… Well, what happens after that?

All these thoughts and more as we explore Thoughts an ideas about being a creative.- all from The Dynamic Universe. Thank you for watching.

  1. dakorillon
    March 27, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    These are some excellent points, and most I have seen before, but you have put them together quite well. I have a different question that you haven’t covered here, or it didn’t seem to be covered.

    What if you have TOO MANY ideas? And not, just too many for an ending, etc. But, too many different projects altogether? And flitting from project to project keeps you from finishing ANY project. And not just in one media…

    I do writing, 2d art, 3d content creation, tutorial videos, and 3d art at a (low) professional level. (As in, I have sold all of the above at one point or another.) But, I have so many ideas for each of those areas. I have Almost 100 3d Content creation ideas. I have hundreds of ideas for 2d art and 2d art jotted down in folders, I have 10s of ideas about tutorial videos, and even ideas for a book of the tutorials, I have almost 50 ideas with notes for books/short stories, including 4 books that range between 20K and 60K words already done. I do notes, and images, so that I don’t lose the ideas for any of those. BUT, and big but, I’m not completing hardly anything!

    Part of it is that sometimes I don’t have the skill for what I need to do, so that takes research and/or learning as you mentioned, and that project has to go on the back shelf for a while. Part of it is second guessing, other than my video tutorials, I’ve never made much money on any of the other areas, and so that reduces my desire to work on them, I know. Part is “Life”, I have other obligations to attend to and some health issues that interfere sometimes.

    I have other hobbies, too, and often feel guilty or a longing when I don’t get to work on them, as I have invested money in them.

    I know marketing is a big problem of mine, but that will be more learning and I’m in groups to help teach me that, too. Which takes away from time to DO things. And I maintain social media sites, because you are supposed to in order to engage with your audience, and build up fans. But, you can’t sell what isn’t finished!

    I’m really at a loss. I used to be a really organized person, and I am organized/plotted/mind-mapped/goals set, but nothing is getting done. And when I sit down and try to work on one, others keep shoving their way into my mind and interfere with getting anything done.

    I know that one issue is not getting engagement/recognition outside of my immediate family, which is nice, but doesn’t really make enough difference to keep me pushing on. If people aren’t looking/buying/commenting….what’s the use?

    I have tried lots of different ideas, and worked to eliminate depression, and working on the other health issues, but I just seem to be spinning in circles. I can’t afford to clone myself in order to get everything done/worked on. So, any other ideas? Especially on the too many ideas front?

  2. dakorillon
    March 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I left a really long question/comment. Hopefully it is just in moderation. So this is a test.

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