Opportunities Don’t Visit Caves

Guest Author: Janiz Ozolins

4 years ago it struck me that I am creative. Seemed a bit late for such a trivial realisation, yet I took it and embarked on my journey of filming, editing, illustrating, writing… pretty much any creative activity that came to my mind, except for knitting.

I was creating, yet not much happened. I learned a lot and improved in tons of different ways, but wasn’t getting to any measurable success. It was time for a change. I was ready to drop my insecurities and get feedback from real living people.

Figuring things out in public also meant being more socially active. So when Jack tweeted about creating podcast artwork for creators, I decided to take part in his little experiment by drawing one for Carl.

It was only then that I realised the relationship, fun and growth I was missing while sitting in my cave and being a one man’s audience to my own creativity.

This simple act of partaking led to new connections and eagerness to interact more on Twitter and VV Membership, where I had been silently observing others for months. A couple of days later I got a message from Celia to write a guest post for value.app - another reminder that opportunities don’t visit caves.

If you feel like you’ve been cave-sitting for far too long, here are some things, I’ve learned to watch out for.

  1. Perfectionist Monster will convince you that you will be able to find some sort of a shortcut. He will always have a cheat code promising to make you an overnight success. He will get you to the goal in no time. Or maybe you both will simply spend too much time at the bottom of stairs.
  1. Perfectionist Monster will protect your identity like crazy. It’s a big world out there, that’s scary. What if nobody likes your work? What if nobody likes you? That’s okay, everybody gets scared from time to time, acknowledge his feelings and give him a hug.
  1. Perfectionist Monster hates publish, post, tweet, share buttons. He gets anxious around them and he’ll tell you the craziest stories. ‘If you tweet this people will laugh at you so hard that they will die, literally die. Do you really want to destroy the human race?’ He’s a J.K. Rowling when it comes to fiction.
  1. You might think the Perfectionist Monster isn’t that bad, all cute and cuddly, rolling over your keyboard. But wait for a deadline to approach and he’ll be a horned beast standing behind you, blowing his hot breath on your fingertips.
  1. Perfectionist Monster will tell you to sit down with him and examine your work. No doubt you’ll end up deciding that nothing you create is good enough. Often you’re too emotionally involved in the creative process to be a good judge of the outcome.
  1. Learn to dance with your Perfectionist Monster, the chances are he’s not going anywhere. Once in a while do something nice for him (beer & burgers?) and maybe he’ll become a more reasonable companion.

If you’re curious about how my Humble Creator tangoes with the Perfectionist Monster, be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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