If you are not creative but have creative people in your life the following list may help you decipher some of our perceived oddities. If you are a creative person you might recognize some or all of these attributes in yourself and find some comfort in the fact that you're not alone. With a little understanding and compassion we can all happily coexist and even learn from one another. Here are some tips to help better understand us:
1. Absolutely by no means sneak up on us. We are often deep in thought and we are easy to startle.
2. Most of us tend to be empaths (whether we realize it yet it or not). This means we have the ability to be very "in tune" with others and feel their negative and positive emotions. This is confusing to us until we figure it out. Other's emotions tend to easily transfer to us and we can misinterpret them as our own. Because of this it's very important to pay attention to the company you keep. William Gibson's quote (often falsely attributed to Sigmund Freud) comes to mind here, "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assh*les." Also, we tend to make most of our decisions based on gut feeling instead of intellectualizing as analytical people do. Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn't. It's a roll of the dice.
3. We will occasionally have outbursts when ideas come to us or mumble incoherently to ourselves. When this happens please excuse the wild look in our eyes and our scrambling to find some way to quickly record those ideas. We are like channels and when we're in the creative flow complex ideas hit us spontaneously and swirl inside our heads. When this happens we tend to shut everything else out until we record those ideas. If we don't write them down chances are we'll forget them and we're afraid that we might lose them forever.
4. Life can be especially difficult for us. As a creative we're either: 1. working a job that doesn't afford us the chance to use our creativity and satisfying our creative urge on our own time; or 2. pursuing our creative passions as a full time career. Both are equally as challenging. Those of us who fall in the first category usually have money to pay the bills but often have to work the equivalent of two full time jobs. Those creative people brave and smart enough to figure out a way to monetize their passion to the point of making a full time income usually have the stress of trying to financial make ends meet . As James Altucher (The Choose-Yourselfer-and-Chief) explains, finding multiple revenue streams is often the answer. Either way we're very busy folks.
5. We're typically introverts in varying degrees. Even if we truly enjoy and appear comfortable socializing it can sometimes take more energy for us. This is partially attributed to #2 above.
6. It can sometimes be difficult for us to make other, non-creative people, understand how we feel (and vice versa) but it can be done with patience and practice. In my opinion, this is why so many creative people express their feelings and emotions through their chosen art.
7. Most of us creatives are eccentric and rebellious. We feel smothered by routine and conformity. Creative people tend to not follow trends. We see through propaganda and it makes us angry and agitated when we feel someone is trying to control us for their own agenda.
8. We tend to enjoy altered states of consciousness because we quickly learn that achieving these altered states of consciousness can open up our creative channels. Those of us who are lucky discover that through meditation we can achieve this altered state without the outside help of drugs, alcohol or anything external. Meditation is the creative person's best friend, personally and professionally.
9. We need quiet time to devote to our creative passions. Creating is what feeds our souls and we get frustrated and depressed when we don't have the time to do this. Please be respectful of a creative person's privacy when they are creating. If you give them the gift of this time they will be happier in all other aspects of their life.
10. Honest support and feedback is invaluable to us, even if it stings at first. I can only imagine how frustrating and tiring it is for non-creative people when their creative friends and relatives are constantly and enthusiastically sharing their latest idea. It's easy to say you like everything but if the idea stinks, tell us it stinks. You might save us valuable time and give us ideas to polish our idea and make it better.
Pass this along handy guide on to all of your friends, creative and non-creative alike. It's a big world and it takes all kinds. As the French say, "Vive la difference!"
Eric Vance Walton is a novelist, poet, aspiring world traveler, and tea junkie. He invites you to follow his unfolding story by "liking" his Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/EricVanceWaltonAuthor for updates and promotions on his current and upcoming projects. You can find Eric's new book One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author, on Amazon in print or as an ebook.
Article © 2015 Eric Vance Walton