To Be the Noun, Do the Verb.
“Let go of the thing that you’re trying to be (the noun), and focus on the actual work you need to be doing (the verb).”
–Austin Kleon, The Noun and the Verb
I think this is one of the most brutal motivators for any artist. Often times, we get so caught up in the idea of earning a job title, we stop doing the job altogether. If we rather focus on doing the verb to the best of our abilities, we will naturally get the title, and much more.
If you want to be a writer, don’t brood over the genre, or the format – just work on your impulses to write. Carry a journal while commuting, and write down muses. If your mind is hyperactivated at 2 am, pen down your thoughts and you will have your own authentic piece of work. Commit to the daily habit of writing, and one day you will have a huge body of work and people will see you as a writer. Before that, start feeling like a writer when no one is watching you, and write.
If you want to be a photographer, take photos. Everyday. Don’t wait for an elaborate vacation to finally take out your camera. Don’t make excuses that great compositions are available only at exotic locations. Photograph the shadow of a tree while you walk down the streets. Make it a habit to capture the clouds. Take out your mobile phone and shoot when you see a colorful window in a rather old building in your neighborhood.
If you want to be a painter, doodle on the margins of your notebook. Don’t stress over how many people view your IG story, just pour some color on paper, and create strokes. Have fun. Keep creating. Creativity is like the muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Don’t wait for a huge chunk of motivation to appear one sudden day, make it a habit.
Whenever you feel like you are lagging behind the others, and you are not where you are supposed to be, CREATE. Whenever you feel jealous or envious of other creatives, get curious, map it down, and CREATE something of your own. You will be surprised how quickly these feelings disappear.