Instagram, Etsy, and Pinterest, for all their wonders, have infected culture. In our diseased state, we have grown to a place where we view creative efforts as practically worthless outside of the realm of public consumption.
Play an instrument? Doesn’t count if you’re not in a band.
Like to paint? How many paintings have you sold?
Can you write? Well, are you getting paid to do it?
(Okay, maybe I’m not allowed to use that last example…)
Our making and our creativity have become defined by the end results. If it’s not publicly known, recognized, or acting as a source of income, why bother?
So we’re raising up a whole generation that has a hard time grasping creative hobbies as a goal unto themselves. Because they really are. MAKING is the whole point.
Creativity shapes us. Changes us. Activates and exercises parts of our brains. Public consumption shouldn’t be the end goal of creativity – the end goal should be making in and of itself.
Some of the greatest creative and innovative minds knew this to be true. Even Albert Einstein, who we would typically associate with the rigidity of science and math and not the flow of creativity, knew that in making and doing, something is unlocked:
“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.”
Turning a hobby into a side gig can be beneficial for your bank account but detrimental to your love of the creativity and process itself. I would know – I have learned the lesson twice after burning myself out making money through my hobbies.
Outside results are great, but when we turn them into the whole point instead of focusing on the process, the passion for creation and mental release that it brings starts to fade away. Those are the things we need to protect.
So click out of Instagram and Pinterest. Open a blank document, a notebook, a sketchpad, your camera. Create for the sake of it. It really is the whole point. And, in doing so, the additional benefits usually come anyway.