How are you doing? I hope you’re making stuff in all parts of your life and enjoying the creative life.
Part of being a creative person and living a creative life is sharing your work and often our first, and most important, audience is our family and friends. But, their response is equally as often disappointing or even discouraging. Why is that?
You’re excited and pleased with your latest work and show it to your closest friend or partner and the response is somthing like “I like it! It looks a little uneven here – can you fix that?” Seriously!?!
I know it’s disheartening to hear something like that and I believe it’s because they’re applying what I call “work rules” to creative projects. Many people don’t use their creativity fully so they don’t understand that a creative work isn’t produced like a report or product presentation. They think of it as a project that is open to input. They don’t know that a creation is whole and finished as its creator intended and not subject to improvement by committee. Hence, the suggestions for “improvements” that can sting mightily.
Instead of never showing your work to anyone, how do you handle this? Assuming that they’re genuinely supportive of your work and want to help you, try letting them know ahead of time that you’re not asking for suggestions or changes but that you’re sharing something you’ve created and are proud of. Setting a clear expectation gives them an idea of how to help. If they shift back into work mode (it’s a hard habit to break for some people,) gently remind them that the project is finished as it is and that you aren’t taking requests.
You may find some of your friends and family never get the hang of it and perhaps you’ll want to find a more receptive and understanding audience. Ultimately, you decide who to share your creative work with so share carefully!