Guest Blog: Filmmaker & Creative Producer Chris Hershman
Don’t Wait To Create
We all have great potential. It’s my belief that we’re all capable of more. I want to share my thoughts on how to achieve more than you thought you could handle.
I can’t stress how important it is to try your best to keep the fire burning for the thing that you love. Ideas and creative thoughts may seem to come and go, but when you think they’ve left you and you’re left with nowhere to go, just close your eyes and begin walking forward. So many times we let anxiety prevent us from even beginning our work. But that’s the moment we’re challenged with making the choice to let that frustrate and rob us of our valuable time, or we can choose to find a new a approach at drawing that idea or creative wave right back to us.
It’s not enough to say you’re “not feeling it” when it comes to creating content for companies that demand and expect proper turnaround and delivery of images. So until we can overcome the obstacles that fear and anxiety bring to the process, it may be difficult for us to elevate our creative hobby into a professional creative career.
I believe every creative comes to a bottleneck in their art making process, something that causes a hang up in time or productivity. For me, I used to get overwhelmed, not knowing where to get started on larger projects and productions. I realized if I wanted to get more done in a day, week, month, and year, I couldn’t waste time worrying instead of working.
I read a book on habits and realized that I can change the way I typically react in the moments when I feel like I’m stuck in my workflow and anxiety prevents me from being able to create or think.
When I’ve arrived at a bottleneck moment and notice I’m beginning to be filled with fear and anxiety, I now decide to stand up, take a walk around the room, and choose a different activity altogether to change both my physical environment and mental headspace. I typically find that when I change my scenery, my brain takes a break from stressing out and resets by taking in new surroundings. The goal of this exercise is to prevent stress-causing anxiety from stealing your productivity. Moments like these can cost us the better part of a day and lead to being even more frustrated after not accomplishing the long list of goals you had set for your day.
I find it important to be completely present and fully engaged when I’m working on my craft. I want to put everything I’ve got into every piece I create. I don’t want to hand a product or image to a client knowing that I could have done it better. I want to deliver the best shot I had at using all my skills to make the highest quality piece that I can. I also don’t have all the time in world to complete it. That’s why anything that steals your time is stealing the opportunity for you to present your absolute best. And who wants to turn in anything other than their best?!
First, recognize the value of time. It’s not that if you have more time, you’ll create a better piece of work. It’s that when you get started on time, and get to the place you would usually stop, you have time to take your finished work from an A to an A++ and given extra credit. I like to keep things as nice and natural as they come. So, not much over-editing in my post process, but pre-production is JUST AS crucial when processing your time. The more pre-production we can put into a project, the more room we can save for our entire project. We can then use some of that room for experimentation, and the extra wiggle room allows for creativity to elevate our projects.
Our own mental strength isn’t always as obvious to us as our physical strength. It’s healthy to give your mental strength a weigh-in from time to time. You may know that you can’t bench press a certain weight, and you can find out immediately by trying to push the bar and weights up and off the stand. However, it’s much less obvious to know just how strong and powerful our own mental strength and capacity are for heavy lifting. Sometimes we may be so used to reaching a point of exhaustion or stress, that we default to a time stealing activity to distract our minds from thinking about the stress. That’s the very moment we need to exercise that mental muscle and reach for one more attempt at staying in the creative element. Once succumbing to less productive activities and distractive activities begin, it’s so much harder to make the full swing back into our work.
Changing our scenery or just something about our current work situation helps tremendously. It can be as simple as standing instead of sitting while editing, or maybe as extreme as taking a weekend to go off the grid to find focused attention and intentional time for project creation, just try switching it up.
The point that I’m trying to make is that we should want to make our best work. Our best isn’t always what comes out in the first try, or third or fourth. But it is important to keep seeking and finding ways of getting our work to reach its personal best. By reaching for our best each time, we examine the most useful approach for us to complete our best work. So, be courageous and give yourself the push you need to get through any of those time stealing situations. And know just how valuable your time is in relation to the process of completing your most honest, truest, authentic art. Giving your best should show all of those great feelings and emotions you have for your work because it means you found the time to make it great! You’re not only happy, but proud to turn it in and be shown with the world. If YOU’RE happy with it, you can see that you pushed yourself and elevated your work because you poured more into it than you thought you had. That’s a great feeling. It’s one that drives us to work hard and make each project better than the last.
I think the best way to sum it all up is with this cheesy phrase I like to say from time to time… “Giving all you’ve got means giving your best, and if you give it your best, that’s all you’ve got to give!”