CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43) Do you agree that it’s best to keep your creative projects private until you’re ready for input and criticism? Other than a significant mate or working collaborator, try and resist the tug to tell anyone about your script or allow anyone to listen to a new song or read your works in progress. The meaningful suggestions and opinions of even your closest friends and family will often contaminate your creative process and lure you away from your original intention. It’s like asking an opinion for a painting with only a few dabs of color on the canvas. Some people have so little confidence in their creative ideas that they immediately seek the opinion of others for reassurance or a temporary ego stroke. Often those outside suggestions contaminate the process and provoke an “inner” creative battle that could derail an otherwise worthy project. There’s a time for such input but not during the earlier stages of the work. Rule of thumb: Honor your Muse by keeping your ideas private until you have plenty of paint on the canvass.
J Michael Dolan

CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)

Do you agree that it’s best to keep your creative projects private until you’re ready for input and criticism? Other than a significant mate or working collaborator, try and resist the tug to tell anyone about your script or allow anyone to listen to a new song or read your works in progress. The meaningful suggestions and opinions of even your closest friends and family will often contaminate your creative process and lure you away from your original intention. It’s like asking an opinion for a painting with only a few dabs of color on the canvas. Some people have so little confidence in their creative ideas that they immediately seek the opinion of others for reassurance or a temporary ego stroke. Often those outside suggestions contaminate the process and provoke an “inner” creative battle that could derail an otherwise worthy project. There’s a time for such input but not during the earlier stages of the work. Rule of thumb: Honor your Muse by keeping your ideas private until you have plenty of paint on the canvass.

COMMENTS


Posted By JJ Biener
Pitfalls
The biggest problem I have found with sharing an incomplete work is that others don't hear what I hear. All anyone else can hear is what has been recorded. They can't hear the music that is still in my head waiting to be finished. They can't hear the mix that I hear. It has been unrewarding for me to share music during the process. It is only at the end when the project is fully formed that others can have real feedback.


Posted By Teresa McNeil MacLean
Creative Privacy...
I agree. Compliments, if you get them, can be encouraging & energizing, but may not actually have much to do with an artist's creative goal(s). I think it's best not to go to others (especially spouse or close friends) until or unless you're "stuck". Sometimes someone's advice, sometimes in unexpected ways, can allow you to move to the next step if you've hit a roadblock in a creative project. Otherwise, use your unique instincts. If you doubt your instincts, however, return to the source of inspiration & ask what got you where you were headed in the first place.


Posted By CeCe
Indeed, Indeed
Absolutely, I have lost 2 major inventions due to this very thing. Keep them wondering and believe me I learned the hard way.


Posted By Steve
How much
I feel it is key to develop trusted relationships with people who can provide objectivity and constructive feedback towards the process. I work with several songwriters who have developed a trust in me and me in them. It's a good thing.


Posted By Ann P. Baker
Inner voice
Hi Michael - I totally agree and wish I didn't ask other's opinions as I have spent time on projects that probably were not where my inner guide was trying to take me. It is confusing though when you are an emerging artist and do need guidance. I guess the key is to find that mentor who has the wisdom and insight to guide you to do work that is authentic while teaching you the skills to express that vision. Thanks for the post!


Posted By Rachel
No Peeking...
Hi Michael Good post, thought provoking...Like colors, sound and oceans, creativity comes in waves...all creation interacting with light, weather, ect..seems we are not made to be islands..but stimulated by all around us...I think intuition helps us to sift through the excess to what is right for us...for me, the weakness, or the strength, however you may see it, is the element of love for others...this journey is not a selfish endeavor, but a shared one... if my creative endeavors encourage someone else...that matters to me..but for love... Have a wonderful day! Rachel


Posted By jimmy
i agree
I think your right! It is like asking a person to taste a desert before it goes in the oven. Now unless a person is as "qualified" or understands the medium of ther art your doing you run the risk of getting a concluded opinion on a unconcluded piece of work. The thing that allures people to a work of any kind of art is that there's a process that they don't understand or know how to do that leads to a finished product, kinda like magic. I wouldn't want to know how shakespeare came up with his plays as much as i would want to read or perform them, yes , ofcourse curiosity would want me to take a peek But its the end result that is the most satisfying... For both artist and audience. Besides most people (unless you really know /trust them) will talk just for talking sake and that senseless rhetoric can get into your head and leave some damaging thoughts to hinder your work.


Posted By jimmy
i agree
I think your right! It is like asking a person to taste a desert before it goes in the oven. Now unless a person is as "qualified" or understands the medium of ther art your doing you run the risk of getting a concluded opinion on a unconcluded piece of work. The thing that allures people to a work of any kind of art is that there's a process that they don't understand or know how to do that leads to a finished product, kinda like magic. I wouldn't want to know how shakespeare came up with his plays as much as i would want to read or perform them, yes , ofcourse curiosity would want me to take a peek But its the end result that is the most satisfying... For both artist and audience. Besides most people (unless you really know /trust them) will talk just for talking sake and that senseless rhetoric can get into your head and leave some damaging thoughts to hinder your work.


Posted By mike
Art of Creation
From my experience it takes years of hard work each day until you reach the point where your creation can stand alone against the critics ,,You will not please everyone that's a fact .Don't get discouraged if you love it just keep on going .It took me 8 years of practice and recording before I felt comfortable letting anyone hear my music.I feel that I am an artist only in the last 3 years or so. Corral the people that enjoy your creation you now have a nitch market so keep building on your tribe. Mike


Posted By Matt Moran
Depends... I guess.
I think if you've had some degree of success with past creative projects, you may be able to get earlier input w/o it "clouding" your project. It requires a degree of ego and belief in what you do and past successes help with that. I am a writer - traditional (articles, book) and I am very comfortable with my competence in this area. I don't mine positive and negative input. I typically ignore the negative anyway :-D. Although, as I reflect on things, I rarely share projects in process with anyone other than trusted advisors/professionals or peers. No particular reason - I'm just busy on those projects. I also wanted to say, I really appreciate your blog. Thanks.


Posted By Keith
On the other hand...
I think you are all on crack. I routinely play rough partially finished demos for a friend of mine who plays drums because he likes my music and he is always asking me if I have anything new. So I play it for him. No big deal. Sometimes he even has some good constructive critisism to offer. Ninety percent of the time or more I know exactly what I want to do and I don't care what anybody says. Sometimes I'm not so sure and it can be quite difficult to seperate yourself from a work you have been steeped in for some time. This is when a second or third party can be helpful. I like getting feedback from people with whom I have worked before and whose opinion I respect. And sometimes they offer up ideas that I hadn't thought of and have actually used them. But in the end I always do what I want. Last time in the studio my drummer and engineer both agreed that a song sounded better on a particular take which was significantly different from my vision. I had not solicited their opinion and I didn't care. I said "that's great, and when you guys are producing this album you can do it however you want" and I instructed the engineer to carry on as planned. However if I am playing with a band and I write a song I will bring it in and let them write their own parts if I think they are capable. For unless you are paying your band mates it's hard to come in with a bunch of songs already written and say 'play this exactly as it's written' and get them to do it without a fuss. And if you think you are so great that you can not benefit from any one elses experience or opinion, and if you also think that every one is out to steal your unfinished work, you probobly have an ego that is way to big, and you may be a bit over paranoid too. Remember, it is not the product that sells, so much as it is the marketing. If people want to steal your ideas they will. Whether it's been produced, published or what have you doesn't really matter, for it is only the finished work that is copy righted, not the idea, and it is very difficult to prove theft of intellectual property in most cases. Or you can just write music that is far and beyond the vast majority of people, therefore they can't possibly steel it because they can't play it.


Posted By Rob Gainey
Privacy
Well said Michael! You should have a very solid and defined form before anyone could possibly have objective (and hopefully constructive) opinions! How could anyone possibily seek a fair critique of something that wasn't ready to be seen; the vision is still in your head. And for ye of little faith, looking for gratuitous approval in meager offers will often net you the exact opposite! And deservededly so! Lastly, (but not leastly!) there is the small issue of plagiarism; who would be so foolish as to reveal it to someone who would maliciously steal your idea? However it may be unintentionally (or casually) passed on to someone who has no loyalty to you and would! Who knows; their version of your concept may be even better! Allow your true vision to emerge by not wearing your art on your sleeve!


Posted By Carlton Schreiner
creative privacy
I agree, and I appreciate the reminder I received from reading your post. My ego loves to masquerade as my soul, such that whenever the intuitive faculty of my soul receives music from the ether, my ego gleefully hijacks it and wants the people in my world to celebrate the birth of its new creation. Ooops... my next paragraph was too long so i will stop now. I didn't know there is a limit. Namaste


Posted By tobias
confidence
This is a thorny one. I think it really depends on what you're looking for by 'letting people in'... and on your degree of artistic confidence. If you're looking for approval or validation, because you need those things in order to feel OK about your work, then I think there's danger there for sure. If you're looking for criticism to hone your ideas, and you're confident enough to handle that, it can be a healthy part of the process. It's not necessary - some people create in a very private way, some in a very public way. I've experimented with both, and have pretty much arrived at a place where I'm confident enough to have a very open process; the project I'm immersed in now is a relatively public one, where I put out works in a very raw form and I'm not much bothered by how people respond to it. I'm really just happy if there is *some* response as opposed to deafening silence...


Posted By NURREDIN
INPUT AND CRITICISM
I should have said "Art ain't Burger king. You don't get it your way"


Posted By Craig Addy
Creative Privacy
I both disagree and agree - fence sitter that I can be. The question for me is not "should I share an incomplete creation?" but rather "when?". Perhaps it does not make sense to share a creative idea until it has some substantial form to it. But once that's present why not share? These days I am considering that nothing I create is really mine. The music I create is a re-creation of all the music I have heard and studied over the years. My ego resists ideas that others offer me but then I sit with it and often try them out. Often these ideas that emerge in conversations with others are the ideas that make the biggest difference for me. Otherwise, I think I might end up saying the same thing over and over again,


Posted By NURREDIN
INPUT AND CRITICISM.
I'm an artist. I don't care about input and criticism. My music is subjective ,not objective.Either you like it or you don't. Did Picasso paint for approval,or did he paint from the heart? If you wait for approval on a project it will never get done. There's always going to be someone who doesn't like what you do,and I really don't care. My music is what it is.Take it or leave it. I really don't care what people think. Art ain't Wal-Mart.


Posted By Joshua Been
hmm
Letting too many in can definitely muddle the original idea or intent. The creation of a painting for me is a dance with my visual understanding and experience, and the universe. Something that can yield what I proclaim is "my" painting. Interesting. But to play devil's advocate on the other side of the spectrum, throwing a thought in to a brainstorm with some solid friends can create some unpredictable results.


Posted By Jeff Robin
Privacy
Yes I agree. I also want to say that it's not that easy to do. I don't think it's my ego or lack of confidence but I'm always looking for outside opinion on my work.

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• CHOOSE ONE (Read time 1:09)
• COMMIT NO PETTINESS
• LEGWORK (Read time 0:15)
• ARTISTS vs. ENTREPRENEURS (Read time 1:03)
• 5-YEAR SURPRISE! (Read time 0:43)
• MID-YEAR TO DO LIST (Read time 0:53)
• ALL IN (Read time 0:33)
• WHAT IF NOTHING CHANGES? (Read time 0:21)
• WADDA JACKASS! (Read time 1:07)
• WHAT ARE U SO AFRAID OF? (Read time 0:57)
• DON’T THINK! (Read time :31)
• Why incumbents rarely invent the future (Read time 1:13)
• THE BOX (Read time 0:33)
• STAND UP IN THE BOAT! (Read time 0:27)
• YOU’RE DREAM’N! (Read time 0:57)
• KNOWING (Read time 0:33)
• CONCEALED CONCERNS (Read time 0:47)
• TAMING THE $$$ BEAST (Read time 1:17)
• FAKING IT (Read time 0:17)
• STAYING POWER (Read time 0:47)
• 0:20 SECONDS OF INSANE COURAGE (Read time 0:51)
• GRASS (Read time 0:41)
• WITH BLOODY FINGERS I WRITE ON (read time 0:27)
• I'LL DO ANYTHING BUT THAT! (Read time 0:47)
• ASS ON THE LINE (Read time 1:37)
• MARKETING BLUES (Read time 0:47)
• THE LONG RUN (Read time 0:39)
• CREATIVITY TO THE RESCUE (Read time 2:07)
• THE RACER'S EDGE (Read time 0:41)
• NO WAY NO HOW! (Read time 0:27)
• THE SMART MONEY (Read time 0:25)
• YOU’RE CRAZY! (Read time 1:19)
• DANCING WITH YOUR DEVOTEES (Read time 0:39)
• LIBERTY!
• NO DOUBT (Read time 1:17)
• WHAT EVER YOU DO, DON'T TURN AROUND (read time :39)

2011 Posts:
• GRAND FINALE!
• 2-DOZEN WAYS TO MAKE 2012 BETTER!
• DEAR PRUDENCE (read time :43)
• COMPLAIN ALL YOU WANT! (read time :23)
• IMAGINE (read time :57)
• WEEKENDS (read time :33)
• PIXAR LETTER (read time 1:03)
• RESISTANCE CAN KILL (read time 1:37)
• AMATEURS vs. PROS (read time :57)
• REQUIEM FOR A HONEYMOON (read time 1:09)
• CAN YOU FEEL IT? (read time 1:47)
• BRANCUSI'S VICTORY CRY  (read time :57)
• SAIL AWAY (read time :43)
• ARTISTS RULE! (read time 1:23)
• USE IT OR LOSE IT (read time :53)
• START HERE (read time 1:27)
• UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)
• STOPPED BY CALAMITY (read time 1:37)
• ART (read time :57)
• AUDACIOUS & UNSTOPPABLE (read time 2:37)
• WRITERS BLOCK (read time 1:47)
• BLOW AWAY DISTRACTIONS (read time :31)
• WAY OF THE CREATIVE WARRIOR (read time :27)
• GOOD BYE LADY LUCK (read time 1:53)
• CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING (read time 1:23)
• DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)
• THE WIZARDS CLOCK (Read time :47)
• CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)
• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)