As a counselor and coach, I work exclusively with creative people. Now, my definition of “creative” is broad-it doesn’t just mean that people are necessarily working artists or writers; rather it means that I work with people who live off the beaten path, who see things differently from most, and (whether they’re acting on them on not) have lots of great ideas and creative instincts.
This is fun to me. I’m a creative person too. I get it. I interview potential clients to see if they are meant to be one of MY clients or if I ought to refer them to someone else. I only want to work with clients who are inspiring to me (I’m a bit selfish that way). I can tell that they are one of MY clients if I ask them what they really want to do and their face lights up as they share a hidden dream with me. Sometimes it’s a dream of making jewelry, or becoming a chef, or writing a screenplay, or singing, or painting or starting a unique business, or starting a line of sustainable goods. It’s always a big dream.
Creative people are really good at the big dreams part. The part we seem to have trouble with is follow-through. I can’t tell you how many brilliant, immensely talented people have sat across from me, full of of great ideas that they are unable to implement because they can’t make the time or space to bring them into action. As much as I am excited by their great ideas (and am impatient to get started on that part of our work together!), we always have to spend the first part of our time together dealing with the unsexy stuff: eliminating distractions, creating systems and work plans, dealing with time-management and basic organization. These problems seem to be taking up all the space in their lives, preventing them from getting to what they really want to be doing. Many creative people I know describe their lives as chaotic. They describe feeling as though they react to whatever comes at them, instead of feeling a sense of purpose or clarity. It leaves them with a feeling of frustration and powerlessness.