The Cost of Creation
Are You Willing To Pay?
Welcome to the YouTopian Journey, a Substack featured publication. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom that can help you in the daily battles that we must all fight in the game of life. This week we discuss the cost of creation and why you must be willing to pay it.
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BEFORE WE START
I had the pleasure of being featured across MSN and their channels this past week. It proves that new opportunities can be created by taking action, being consistent, and staying focused.
This inspired today’s issue. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it helps.
Now onto the good stuff!
THE COST OF CREATION
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life…Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” -Ray Bradbury
There is no better time to be a creator than now, they say.
Never before has it been so simple to get paid for doing what you love, they say.
If you have a phone, you have access to the entire world, they say.
But the truth?
There is a cost of creation and that cost is far too high for the multitude to pay.
And what is this cost?
It is the agreement with yourself to constantly create, to dedicate yourself to becoming a manufacturer of your mind. Yet this factory of facts that you have setup within your head does not have a union. It does not have off hours or holidays. It does not have benefits. It has only you, the foreman, the CEO, the president, the creator.
It is up to you to set aside your time and create.
It is that simple and that difficult.
Sitting in a room, staring at a screen, the blank page looking back at you. The TV remote is in reach. Notifications on your phone beckon you to respond. The sun shines through the window, with people outside having all sorts of fun.
It is a daunting sight, one that many cannot stand nor suffer through.
There is no magic bullet for this. You have to commit yourself to the creative cause and drive output if you want to be successful. This usually means reading, researching, writing, rewriting, and pressing forward, even when you lack the motivation to do so.
Because you will lack the motivation. You will lack the patience and discipline and energy that true creation requires. You will find the distractions both welcoming and ample. Soon you will find that the time you set aside to create has been wasted, lost to the social media feeds, YouTube videos, drama, and more.
A true creator knows this but they push through. They avoid the distractions. They understand that the blank page isn’t daunting, but a welcome challenge.
After all, it is only the blank page that holds infinite potential and infinite rewards.
Yet to obtain the reward, this treasure that is difficult to bring to the surface, requires one thing.
The ability to sit down and do the work!
“If you’re going to be a writer you should sit down and write in the morning and keep it up all day, every day. Charles Bukowski, no matter how drunk he got the night before or no matter how hungover he was, the next morning he was at his typewriter. Every morning. Holidays, too. He’d have a bottle of whiskey with him to wake up with, and that’s what he believed. That’s the way you become a writer: by writing. When you weren’t writing, you weren’t a writer.”-Lawrence Ferlinghetti
This is the cost. You have to put aside all distractions. You need to focus on what matters to you. No matter how tired you may be. No matter what else you had planned.
You must pay the cost.
This will cost you friends because they won’t be able to stand the fact that you are choosing your work over them.
This will cost you experiences because you will choose your work over going out.
This will cost you time, because much of your work will be practice and won’t ever be utilized.
This will cost you money, because you are turning down other opportunities to focus on your passion.
This will cost you connections, because you aren’t physically present to meet new people and network.
People often ask me how I find the time for YouTopian Journey. Between my screenplays, treatments, consulting, lecturing, events, and living, where do I fit in my time to write?
Whenever I can. I write in the mornings, the afternoons, the evenings, and in between. Ideas come to me in my sleep, when I am walking, when I am working. My mind is always generating content. I never find myself at a loss, because I have so much to say. It is not that I sit down to write the YouTopian Journey, but that it is already written in my mind. It comes out quite easily and is a task that is truly meaningful and fun for me.
That is something that all creators should strive for, to have their creations be their ultimate form of expression. To create is not tedious nor daunting, but a challenge that is truly meaningful, impactful, and fun.
The associated costs of creation are trivial in comparison to one’s own creations. Do not let the trivial stop you from creating the masterpiece that society needs.
And society needs you now more than ever.
Pay the cost of creation.
It is truly worth it.
“Achilles exists only through Homer. Take away the art of writing from this world, and you will take away its glory.”-Vicomte de Chateaubriand, Les Natchez
CREATIVE COURAGE NEEDED
“Creative people who can't help but explore other mental territories are at greater risk, just as someone who climbs a mountain is more at risk than someone who just walks along a village lane.”― R. D. Laing
Not all creators are successful. In fact, most aren’t. Yet this shouldn’t stop one from making the attempt. Creators must contend with not only the price of creation, but the associated obstacles that require creative courage to surmount!
Why is this the case?
Because we live in a society that values instantaneous results that can be immediately measured. We want viral creations that get people talking, sponsors lined up, publishing houses, studios, art galleries, and patrons coming to you with a checkbook and an offer. When this doesn’t materialize, we often feel lost. This leads to inaction and eventually, giving up.
Do not let this happen.
You must possess courage to persevere. But not the moral courage that is required for the daily battles of life but creative courage!
“Whereas moral courage is the righting of wrongs, creative courage, in contrast, is the discovering of new forms, new symbols, new patterns on which a new society can be built.”-Rollo May, The Courage to Create
Creative courage gives you backbone. It gives you spine to show your work to a public that is indifferent. It gives you the guts to showcase your creation, regardless of the possible criticisms.
Because there will be criticisms.
There will be people who give their opinions, as if they’re experts in the field. The person who doesn’t paint but criticizes the artist. The person who hasn’t read a book since high school but chimes in with suggestions. The person who rarely watches films but has opinions on the style of the director.
These are endless. They are a constant companion to one who desires to create. This is why creative courage is a required trait. It gives you the ability to press on in spite of the difficulties and criticisms.
The people who will be your biggest critics will not be there for your journey. They will make their case, but it is up to the creator to choose what is the best course of action and act upon it.
With YouTopian Journey, the critics were everywhere when I started. The art was too weird. The characters weren’t likeable. The style wasn’t correct. The writing was too harsh. The quotes were too many.
On and on.
But I pressed forward. I had something to say, something that could help my readers, and that could even benefit society as a whole. I would not be stopped. I would listen and if it made sense, course correct. But I would not halt the course. I would not let anyone delay or prevent me.
And the critics?
I don’t know where they are and I don’t care.
Neither should you.
You have a job to do and you can’t let anyone or anything stop you. Find that creative courage that you know that you possess and use it.
We need you.
The creativity has to come out, it cannot remain hidden forever.
Do it now!
You will be better because of it, trust me.
“What makes a man a writer?”
“Well,” I said, “it’s simple.
You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.”
IN OTHER NEWS
I had the pleasure of appearing on the She Does Profess podcast, which is available via Substack.
We talked everything from the origins of YouTopian Journey to mental grit, spirituality, taking action, and more. Not only do I recommend you listen to it, but give it a subscribe as there are many other cool guests on the horizon. You can listen here.
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ONE LAST THING
None of this would be possible without help from subscribers like you. If you know someone who could benefit from this issue, please share it. We need forward thinking and courageous individuals who can put their creativity to use and benefit not only their peers, but society at large.
If you enjoyed this issue, please subscribe. Every subscription helps the community grow and gives me, as a creator, a chance to help you become mentally stronger and more confident through my work.
There is a lot of cool stuff on the horizon. If you want to be involved and help the community grow, drop me a comment. You can also comment on what you thought of the issue. It truly makes me happy to see how my work is motivating, inspiring, and helping you in your endeavors.
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.