How To Find Your Voice As A Creative
Why are you a creative? What deep hunger are you trying to feed? Your work speaks to the world. What is it trying to say? What sparks of inspiration do you follow? The META world that is your workshop. The heartfelt moments when it all comes together. And how does Harry Potter fit into all of this? Today, we explore the wild, chaotic fire that informs and molds your work.
Mentioned In This Podcast
How To Find Your Voice As A Creative (Summary Notes)
There is really nothing like directing and producing. It’s an experience like no other. The whole thing begins with an inspiration of some type and then it becomes something more.
The inspiration for my first short film was capturing the last few days of an alcoholic hitting rock bottom. Three years later, my second short film told the story of a father finding his way back to his young daughter. And then three years after that, I directed an improvised dramatic play, inspired by the one act absurdist plays of Samuel Beckett.
The review headline reads, “Breaking Beckett will forever change how you think about improv.” And then later … “One of the main functions of theatre is to make an audience think. In this regard, BREAKING BECKETT, now playing at The Institution Theater, succeeds. BREAKING BECKETT has changed, for me, how I see improv and what improv has the power to do.”
You find your voice as a creative by going on the journey. You find your voice as a creative by doing the work. You find your voice as a creative by getting better over time. And you find your voice as a creative by looking into the mirror called the body of your work.
Why Do Creatives … Create? Find Your Voice In Your Motivations
What feeds you creatively? The magic of creation looks like what to you? Show me the world you paint in and then tell me why you paint. Show me the little sparks that became much more … the things that spoke to you. And tell me their stories.
But why chase those sparks to begin with? What is it about that creative journey that feeds you? Specifically. Find your voice as a creative by knowing what feeds you.
If there were no rules or limitations, your ultimate creative project would look like what? No rules. No restrictions. What creative adventures would you go on? Find your creative voice by noticing what makes you curious.
And finally, when you compare all your answers to these questions, what patterns do you see? The mosaic that is you. Let me say that again, the mosaic that is you, what is it saying? You find your voice as a creative by looking in the mirror.
This is you, my friend. This is you. Walk reverently with your answers. This is how you find your voice.
What Makes A Maestro … A Maestro? Find Your Voice In Other Creatives
But what does that look like? It’s Spielberg’s version of an outcast, versus Tim Burton’s version of an outcast, versus Wes Anderson’s version. Their work is both a statement and a journey. Really process that last sentence.
Prolific and successful creatives have two things in common.
- They have found and doubled down on their sweet spot.
- They’re never satisfied because there is always more.
And so it will be with you. You find your voice as a creative refusing to endlessly wander the forrest. As in, if you don’t double down and grow, your voice will always be muted.
As well, your signature work as a creative will be born from the dramatic tension between two. The dramatic tension between doubling down and their is always more, which I call The Sweet Spot Factor.
Which is to say, you find you voice as a creative only surrender it to the process. Your creative voice will grow. As in, you will find your voice, loose your voice, then find your voice again. It’s all a part of the process.
But there is a price to pay …
- You will have to move from being above something to being about something.
- You will need to move from dreaming to doing.
- You have to move from building a career to manifesting your calling.
JK Rowling got the idea for Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone when riding on a train. But all was not well. While crafting her first Harry Potter Book, she lost her mom, her marriage, and ended up in poverty while raising her child as a single mother. And then came the rejection letters. And then came the depression. Because, you know, who wouldn’t be? We’re all human.
But JK Rowling doubled down on her voice as a creative. She fought forward. More than anything, she believed in Harry Potter. To find your voice as a creative is believe in your creations, the voice they need to have.
My advice … find your Harry Potter.
Here’s Your Homework
It’s deceivingly simple. I want you to answer but one question.
In an ideal world, when all the chapters of your life have been written, your creative work would become known for what? You find your voice as a creative by getting clear on what it is that you want to say.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all”. JK Rowling