Jealous or Motivated
Don't you find it a little humiliating when the color you've painted your living room walls with is no longer the most popular color in current social circulation?
How about your flower bed. If you try, you might be able to catch up with that neighbor you've never met two blocks over and three doors down.
And let's not get into your car. Not only is retaining that bottled up winter smell, but it's four years old. That's old! No one drives a four year old car. Ever!
Are you doing this with your creative pursuits? Constantly trying to keep up or fall in line with the most popular sound, fashion, peers, design, gear, sales, color scheme?
First, let me just say it's healthy to be inspired by the latest wave of creative awesome in your field. To have a band of peers you trust and feel challenged by, that's a sweet spot to be in. Not to mention that it's healthy and normal to snag concepts and ideas from whatever catches your fancy. And as artists shaping our catalog for greater reach, it's perfectly acceptable to move in the direction of the culture around you, if that's your thing.
Now let me ask you this:
Q. What's making you miserable in your attempts to keep up with the Jonzettas?
Q. How are you growing in confidence in your own work even as you're inspired, caught off guard or even frustrated by what's coming across the cultural landscape?
Q. What is it about jealousy that's helping your creative pursuit? What is it about jealousy and bitterness that's killing your creativity? Be specific.
Q. Do you have a vision for your work? For your creative rhythm? For your own unique journey? Have you written it down?
Q. How are you growing in skill, talent and ability in the artistic expertise you wish to share with the world? Are you pursuing your creative work with all the gusto you're able to afford it: time, research, study, practice, money, space?
Alright now, push off that anxiety, make a simple daily plan, and go. Sure, keep your finger on the pulse of the culture if you like, but only if it's helping move you in the direction you need to go. Wake up, brush off the negative self-talk, push it back with truth, and focus on the work in front of you.
Oh, and if your creative preference isn't commercially profitable, and if your niche is super offbeat and specific, and if your tribe is naturally quite small, are you being honest with yourself about the reach and sustainability of your work? My point is, are you creating with healthy expectations?
You have something to create. Don't let others rob it from you. Impact you, yes, but rob it from you, no.