However, if you’re like me, you still struggle with what I like to call the yeah, but syndrome – the uncertainty and fear about the who-what-where-when-and how of progressing with your own creative projects and goals, even after reading many of them.
Like the popular Sesame Street jingle goes: “All of these things belong with the other, but one of these things is not the same!” So although most creatives grapple with similar issues and themes, we may also experience challenges or difficulties in dealing with those issues satisfactorily, given our own unique life circumstances.
While studying Communications in college as a youth, I spent one summer working as a stringer, writing articles for the Canadian Press. I was required to think fast on my feet and approach each person I interviewed, try and answer each angle of a story I was assigned, with the typical W5 journalist’s scrutiny.
That vocational experience was brief, but the discipline was impressed upon me for life.
I’ve come up with a series of core questions I’m thinking a lot about lately to evaluate and effectively plan my creative career direction.
But they also seem applicable to help work out almost any decision or life situation someone may be facing, and so I share them with you in the hopes they might be useful.
Without further delay, here are my 6 core questions:
1. WHO are you and who are your people?
2. WHAT do you have to offer that no one else can?
3. WHERE are your people? (professionally, personally; online and offline)
4. WHEN will you regularly honour your creative talents and gifts and work towards achieving your goals and dreams?
5. WHY are you doing what you’re doing?
6. HOW specifically and practically will you get what you really want? (I can’t get that refrain from the Rolling Stones’ popular ditty out of my head thinking about this one!) If we’re lucky, we can get both what we need and want from our creative life!
I’ve come to realize as I think about them that they’re deceivingly complex questions!
They aren’t complex in the sense of complicated, but more like a multifaceted prism. By holding each question in the sunlight, you see nuances and colours depending on which angle you’re looking at it, but each discovery is a part that makes up the whole.
The longer I contemplate each question, the more information or relevant truth comes up for me and my unique life experience. So I’m expecting you’ll have plenty of valuable creative insight come up for you too.
As writers, as creatives, I think it’s imperative that we invest in the time to answer these questions for ourselves. Don’t just read other blogs and adopt some of the suggestions from them. Take the time to find out what hits the bullseye and fits your unique life and circumstances, and work towards designing the creative life you really want that is tailor made and right for you.
If the questions I posed don’t resonate for you, why not make up your own set of W5s ? Feel free to share what you discovered in the Comments below.