On Stalling Creative Responsibilities

It’s easy to lay down ideas, but the tough part is where I need to edit my work so that it makes sense, deciding which ideas to keep, or spending minutes doing the thinking.

That’s hard when you’re not used to it.

It was hard for me when I was first interned two years ago – and it’s still not effortless.  

Personally, I’ve realized that I subconsciously skipped certain hard parts, leaving them to my seniors to look over.

It mostly happened because I believed they know better, which they did. But another tricky reason was that I was afraid of being wrong or throwing away any great ideas.

So, I became too cautious

Now, I’m realizing that any creative task comes with certain responsibilities attached to it, although it isn’t apparent at the start.

What do those creative responsibilities consist of? Curating ideas, scything what doesn’t work, presenting your work, and defending what you believe in.

We trick ourselves by thinking that those parts can be avoided.

But is that true? Not really.

  • When you don’t decide which ideas to slaughter, somebody else does
  • When you don’t play the devil’s advocate, somebody else does
  • When you don’t check whether your idea works, somebody else does

Seems unfair?

That’s how it goes when we avoid making ourselves accountable for what we create by giving away the responsibilities and control without even trying.

We might be indecisive and lack clarity when we begin, but gradually, we figure that it’s our job to do that hard stuff.

Trying helps at such times

I’m experimenting with that.

Recently, I’ve slashed my ideas, I’ve edited them to fit the briefs, and I’ve used my intuition to figure any anomalies while making some decks at work – all while resisting the urge of relying on the seniors yet again.

That feels like a good start.

Although small, the handful of actions make me feel that I’m playing my part … without stalling any creative responsibilities.