I have nothing bad to say about passion. It’s cool. Or I really should say hot. Coupled with stuff like muse, inspiration, talent and so on, passion offers massive motivation when it’s in flow.
I so (too?) often rely on what I’d loosely call talent and my passion for music to get me through gigs and other creative projects (like blog deadlines). No wonder I end up procrastinating. I’m probably just waiting for an inspirational spark or for that elusive “talent” to finally kick in. And if it never happens? Then this project just wasn’t meant to be.
Yes, there are going to be times when that talent and passion you rely on to push you through tasks and projects may not be enough. I said “may”, but I can pretty much guarantee it. There are times when you can’t perceive the inspiration. (It’s always there. Sometimes you just can see it.)
So, you’re going to need something else. You can try “rugged individualism” — that spunky, frontier justice kind of attitude that sees in everything an opportunity to get revenge on the people or things who we think owe us something. But I don’t recommend it. You’re going to find that this go-it-yourself mentality does not sustain that well. What starts as rugged and individual ends as haggard and lonely. That’s why I call this loner syndrome.
Instead, find or create the best support group you can. For some musicians, this will be your band. But even in these situations, you need to have a broader set of supporters. Not fans. (That’s another post.) Though they will almost certainly be some of your best fans. Just that they’ll be much more than that. For many creative people, this is a spiritual community (a church or something more loosely organized). In this age of virtual connections, (though some will disagree with me here) it may be a social networking circle. For some, it will be a sizeable group of people. For others, it may just be a few best friends. It may range from an organization that meets every single Tuesday (as an example) or just gets together whenever they like. It may be friends or the people you hire to keep things rolling for your career and life. You’re creative, so create what works for you.
Whatever it is for you, develop it while the going is good. When your passion is running high, you can put together the sort of support system that can help to sustain you. That way when the muse seems dried up, you won’t have to start from ground zero. You can turn to these friends and say, “Here’s what’s happening for me.” Then, proceed to let them support, encourage, coax, maybe (a little more risky in some situations) even advise you. Nine times out of ten or better, I’ll bet they’ll help you get back on track.
What’s your fallback when passion is not enough? Do you have a support group? Tell us all about it in the comments…