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hustle and bustles

There is some advice I hear a lot from creative professionals and other entrepreneurs: 

HUSTLE 

I will admit, it’s important to hustle, or, as many of them say, to have hustle. 

Many a creative has been known to drag their feet from time to time. This might be due to a insecurity, anxiety, distraction, or just plain old laziness. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to avoid the creative things we know we ought to do.

On the flip side, when we hustle, we keep the magic of momentum moving in our favor. We get things done and it feels good so we get more things done. In that case, we’ve got to keep the hustlin’ and bustlin’ cranked to the max.

But could there be a drawback to this frantic break-neck pace we adopt? Shouldn’t we also slow down, relax and take in the moment or something?

I remember seeing an interview from a writing business course where the guy being interviewed, who was skyping in on his cell phone, was also doing a workout, gathering things around his hotel, scheduling a meeting, hailing a cab and then riding off to his other meeting.

Some may say he was a living example of what it means to hustle—he was certainly a proponent of it based on his advice during the interview. And sure, he did give some good advice in his hurried talk, but I also found the whole thing stressful. I know it’s something I would never do.

If someone personally invited me to an interview for their business course, I would schedule the time to talk with them as a person ought to: one on one, with some measure of respect for the other party and for the potential listeners. I don’t care how “big” I get, if I don’t have the time for that, then I just wouldn’t do the interview.

The hustle mindset can be helpful at times: it keeps us productive. When you’re constantly on the move, you don’t have time to stop and worry about your shortcomings or feel sorry for yourself. You’ve got things to do, after all. There’s no stopping you now.

But here’s the drawback: when all we do is hustle, it’s very easy to leave other people behind. 

Often I find my pursuit of a creative writing career is at odds with my role as a husband and father. It is almost impossible to do both at the same time and if I attempt that, my performance for each of them suffers. 

I’ve learned (and am learning) each requires their own appropriate time and each deserves my full attention. 

For me, family always comes first. I have to be ready to stop whatever I’m doing and give my wife or children the care and attention they deserve from me. This extends to the other people in my life as well.

Creativity, after all, is for others to enjoy. If we are too busy following our creative pursuits, we can trample over the very people who might appreciate our creativity or help us along the way.

Notice hustle and hostile are almost the same word? Maybe there's a reason for that. Our speedy approach to life can eventually lead to other's hurt.

So yes, you should hustle when the time is right, but make sure you take time to pump the breaks now and then and share some quality time with the people in your path. Often that little chat with a friend, or word of encouragement will be all the motivation I need to get back on track and hustle some more.

Alright, I admit it, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the female dress-wear known as bustles. So sorry to disappoint you all. In case you were wondering, it also lacks anything about the Belgium city of Brussels or the sprouts they are so famous for. Well, what can I say? It’s probably not easy to hustle while wearing a bustle in Brussels, but maybe you should try it and let me know how it goes.

creative together

Before we get to today's regularly scheduled post, a little update from yours truly. I've been working on a book for nearly a year now and I finally got to a draft I felt confident sending off to a few beta readers. That felt good, real good. I've titled it The Endless Creative and it's about the creative journey. It parallels the three-act story structure and has fictional narrative woven through. It still needs work, without a doubt, but I'm pumped it's gotten this far and I look forward to sharing it with the public at large some day in the mere future (you read that right).

Now, back to the program! 

I've previously written about why “beyond” is part of Creative & Beyond but it’s time to circle back again to the Creative bit.

What’s so special about being creative? Why talk about creativity so much? What’s the big deal? Ok, ok, enough with the questions already, sheesh. Creativity is a very big deal. Heck, I never plan to stop talking about what a big deal it is (so get used to it people). Of the many, many reasons why it’s such a big deal, here is one I’ve given much thought to lately:

Creativity brings us together

There’s an SNL skit that came out last Thanksgiving about a family who is prone to continual argument about various hot-button topics. But, without fail, their heated arguments cease abruptly and they join together in song every time Adele’s popular Hello is played. The laughs come as each family member begins to look and act more and more like Adele from the song’s music video.

Yes, there’s just something about beautiful art that can bring people from every disposition together in harmonious accord. It’s amazing really. Well, guess what beautiful art is a product of. If you said creativity (and I hope you did), you’re right. Also, the person next to you is probably wondering why you just said, “creativity” out of the blue, but don’t worry about it.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) you know we live in a time ripe with division. We’re divided on so many different things these days: politics, religious stances, economic policies, even favorite ice creams (yes mint n’ chip, you still have a special place in my heart, I don’t care what the others say about you). Franky, it’s disappointing how quickly we let our differences put space between us.

But the wonderful thing about creativity is its appreciated by all. It’s a common ground, no matter who you are or where you come from. True creativity unites.

Now, can we be creatively divisive? Sure. It’s possible. But I believe the potential for creativity to unite is so much stronger because it is based on something intrinsic to all of us. Creativity (and the potential for it) is hidden within us all.

Are there times to take a stand, to draw lines, to go against rather than with the flow? Indeed, and such practices can be just as important as they are creative. But I hope with every creative undertaking you begin, you seek first to draw others in rather than push them away.

 

Creatively yours,
A.P. Lambert

 

Hey Creatives, when was the last time you connected with someone through a share appreciation for something creative? Let us know in the comments below.