I hear there are these people that need no accolades for their work. They are able to do their thing no matter the response or whether there is a response at all. I am not one of these people. Not to say that I need gushing positivity over every piece I crap out. But I need kudos to help fill those spaces where I doubt everything I’m doing and wondering why I’m even pretending to be a writer.
I’ve been exploring how to meet this need without it affecting my WIP (premature accolation can totally ruin a process). Borrowing from advice I got as a baby actor, my solution is this: karaoke creativity.
I’m not suggesting you take someone else’s writing and try to make it your own. That is called plagiarism and is a very big no-no. What I mean is: you do some writing or some other creative thing that you can do relatively quickly and that you know will get you a positive response.
The actor that suggested it was Fredi Walker-Browne of Rent (on Broadway) fame. She talked to my acting class about making sure you don’t seek positive feedback from auditions. That is not what those are for. When she needed someone to tell her she was a good singer, she went to karaoke, not on an audition. At karaoke, she was sure to shine, sure to have people come up to her gushing about how good she was.
That is what I’ve been doing these silent months while finishing law school, studying for and taking the bar, and preparing for my bar trip. In another part of the internet I make jokes, terribly cheesy jokes, on images that increase “teh funny”. It’s not exactly writing, but it’s creating a moment and an experience. And I always get kudos from them.
I was having a few crappy weeks where I almost gave up (again) on my WIP and was fairly convinced that I couldn’t write, not really. I made one of my jokes and posted it randomly at an opportune time. The response was not overwhelming but incredibly confirming: I am creative, and people like what I create. It was exactly what I needed.
With the end of law school and the bear of the bar on my plate, I knew my creative time was going to be limited, but I needed to make sure it was eliminated. When I’m feeling like a hack, I struggle to do anything at all. Karaoke creativity kept me/keeps me in the game by supporting (not being) my confidence when I need it.
Other kinds of karaoke creativity that might help to bolster your creative confidence could be telling stories to children, writing fanfiction, or doing an open mic night with one of your best stories/poems/writings. What ways do you use to prop up a lagging creative confidence? When do you find you have this problem, if you do? If you don’t, what is that like?!