Creative process: The paradox of “owning” our artistic work.

When we first start out on our journey of imaginative creativity, and possibly publicizing that journey on the Internet or other venues, we may follow one of two extreme paths: create, create, and create without critiquing our work, thereby putting all of it “out there,” or we are too filled with fear to “own” our work and so don’t promote it much or at all.

The ideal, of course, is to have a balanced approach.

Following the 80/20 rule, most of what we produce in our early creative growth will not be very good…in fact, it will be bad.

Publicizing all of it indiscriminately could cause early damage to our reputation.
But if we choose to promote none, or very little of it, we miss the chance for potentially good feedback that could help us grow creatively from people who are starting to pay attention to us.

The trick is to recognize the efforts “that didn’t quite work out” and to resist the temptation to offer such works publicly.

Yes, we wrote, painted, or otherwise created and slaved over  it, but by holding back our lesser work and publicizing only our best work, we’re more likely to build a solid reputation for quality.

The downside is that in order to develop a sufficient body of work that falls into the 20 percent category of “best” work, we all have to work harder.

But, don’t throw away the stuff you think failed…it can be a good source of review material in terms of what works and what doesn’t.

You may even be able to rescue some of it in the future with improvements such as  new approaches as you grow in creative and artistic capability.

Dennis Mellersh

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