There’s only so many things that make you go so utterly nuts that you struggle not to think about them. There’s actual physical stuff. There’s people. And then there’s ideas. Concepts.
You prioritize by what’s more important to you and give time accordingly. Time is your enemy. Time and distractions. While you could benefit from some distractions time is ruthless. It never forgives. If I could give a physical form to time, it would be a giant cold monster covered in metallic gears and sand standing still. Ticking. Reminding the inevitable. Terrorizing. Fight that damn clock.
Given that you’re under pressure, the first thing to do is to evaluate which thing goes first in your life.
For me, one thing is for sure, physical stuff hardly ever make it to the top of my priorities. I hate the fact that I need so much of them to keep on living. I want my food fresh and homemade and delicious. I want my clothes warm and approved by society. I want my computer fast, my phone online and a steady roof over my head to keep on doing what I love. But if I can go on without all these things and still be happy with what I do, I’d gladly let go of them. Because I don’t actually need them.
What I’ve always wanted to put on top of my priority list is people. They deserve our love and attention, they matter more than I can imagine. Unfortunately, and I feel very bad about it, I’ve never come to put things in that perspective. I don’t feel I’ve given enough time or attention to people around me, not even myself. Of course I’ve loved and I’ve cried and I’ve become stronger by whoever crossed my way, either nice or difficult. But people should be more than passengers in our trip in life. They should be top priority. I’m working on that.
Dreams and ideas and concepts are what I value before anything. Creations that come as a result of these ideas make me happier than anything else. Not many years had passed before I realized I wanted to be creative. I’ve always tried and felt the will in my gut. Always stole time from my everyday obligations to do something of my own. I did not care if others approved, I did not even care if an idea would sell. To be an artist at heart. That’s what I wanted to be and I still do. I don’t have the need to prove that what I do is cool. I need to feel it for myself. After all, what happened to the people crazy enough to think they can change the world? Aren’t we supposed to be crazy enough and believe in our own creations?
Most of my time is spent on creative outbursts.
One of the best examples of raw creativity I could display is the following project. When my co-workers told me I could import videos to Instagram, I was literally smiling for the rest of the day. I remember one of them telling me “I’m glad you can be so happy with such little things!” Only for me, it was not that small. It was the beginning of my new passion. A series of videos that were created specifically for Instagram, taking advantage of the video import feature.
I saw so much more than a little pet project that I could do when I returned from work. Each day, all day, for a whole week, I was thinking about a new concept for the next video. I was so dedicated to it, I even dreamt about it. I used to forget to eat. I got up earlier in the morning. It was my way out of other people’s approvals. It was something only for me. It didn’t stay like that for long.
What happened next is not the scope of the article. What is important is that something got me going and I could not stop. And I didn’t want to stop. A will that gave me power to live without sleep, without food. It almost resembled falling in love. To love what you do is what keeps you going. It’s definitely not the money, neither the fame.
The will to create is an inexplicable want and a need simultaneously. This instinctual yearning was responsible for other pet projects and some bigger ones as well. A thing I’ve learned the hard way while doing what I wanted is that I almost always need help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. The feeling of collaborative work with results is as fulfilling as the ones you do alone. I tend to do things alone, but with the help of the right people the results are even more amazing. But not all people are the right people. Make sure you are on the same path, you have the same goal. Make sure they feel it like you do.
After a long time I managed to have enough time to get back to my little project one more time. The result is the following.
As I get better, I want to further improve upon it, and if I manage to steal the time I might do another full week! No critique, no clients, no pressure (well, except for time). Just me and my next concept.
Citing Bukowski’s “So you wanna be a writer” (that was so absolutely artistically stolen to create a whiskey ad):
When it is truly time, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you.