Fake it till you make it? Musing on non-creative days
"You've just got to fake it till you make it." How many of us have heard that bit of wisdom offered in response to our struggle during the process of creating?
That's hard to do when you're an INFJ or an INFP as many creative souls are. "Faking it," feels false and phony and that doesn't go over well with intuitive-types. (Here is an abbreviated version of the Myers-Briggs personality test for you to try if you're unsure what type you are.)
I have a hunch that most of us creatives find selling hard because of this. The traditional sales tactics and tirades make us feel uneasy. We crave connection on a deep level ... and giving strangers our elevator pitch makes us feel icky and crave a shower.
It's also challenging to separate out our creativity from our entrepreneurship sometimes. Our side hustle can start to feel more and more pressure-filled. Nothing kills creativity and the child-like curiosity that leads to it like forced labor and lots of "shoulds."
When I'm having those non-creative days, I do this: skimp. I tell myself that I only have to write for five minutes, or that I just have to try to find one or two beautiful things to take a photo of. If I want to keep taking photos or writing or painting or whatever else I'm in the process of working on, of course I can. But I don't force myself to. Creative work is the work your soul craves. Because of that, it requires special handling. You don't punch a time clock and run with your creativity. Most of the time it requires nurturing and time for quiet and reflection.
I am not a big believer in the "fake it till you make it" school of thought for creativity. Not unless it includes faking that you enjoy quiet when you really prefer "doing." Because sometimes we really do need to hit that pause button long enough to find out what our soul really craves and needs.
Anything that requires me to force myself to do something, is dead in the water. The resistance I feel will outweigh the good that could come of the results. Instead, I like to treat my creative like a sweet, playful child who is struggling to accomplish something that really is important. And it's not always the same thing that works. Get creative with your spirit and play some games. Try this, that and that other thing over there. Ask yourself questions. Give yourself time to get comfortable. Nurture yourself in whatever way feels good and does your body good (in other words, eating an entire box of chocolates may not be the answer).
If you're a writer and an INFJ or INFP, I'd recommend an immediate read of this great book, The INFJ Writer, by Lauren Sapala. It is one of the best things I've read about writing and fulfilling your true calling as a creative.
What do you think? Fake it till you make it or is there another method you use to to draw out your muse?