Success as a Creative: The Only Way to Be a Professional Is to Be Professional

There's a certain mysticality that often gets assigned to work as a creative — the gifted artist that somehow conjures genius from thin air. This image is inaccurate at best, and it's downright poisonous for the artist themselves to subscribe to it. Here's how a professional really thinks and works.

Coming to you from Storytellers, this great video essay struck a chord with me because it hits on some really key points that I think are indispensable when being a professional creative. As it details, being professional is not a static state; one does not pass some milestone and forever hold the status. Rather, it's an active pursuit and the understanding that inspiration is a fickle partner that can't be waited for while hours pass. I was certainly guilty of subscribing to the mysticality when I was younger, and the greatest lesson I learned was to trade that for a perhaps less fanciful but entirely more successful reality of grinding out work. The true reality is work and the understanding that mundaneness and beneficialness are not mutually exclusive. As the video hints at, I think this is why so many professionals are politely thankful though seemingly disproportionately unmoved by receiving major awards or the like; such things are a byproduct of the process, but the process and product themselves are, in a sense, all that matter and are therefore their own rewards. Work, and let everything else come as it may. 

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I am not a professional photographer, but I am a professional writer ... of computer and web applications. "Being in the Zone" is real where time disappears. I have come up with inspirations to solve problems doing such mundane things as commuting home from work or even taking a shower.