We all have standards. We have them in who we date, what we do in school and many other things. This can be said with our creative endeavors as well. I know for me, there is a certain standard that I hold myself to when creating art or crafting stories. I however, I often feel that my work is substandard; the picture doesn’t look right, the characters are dull, the world I’ve built is bland or the plot lacks continuity. These feelings are often a hindrance since they tend to discourage me from muscling through it. With that being said, this feeling doesn’t have to be permanent. This, like many obstacles, is something that can be overcome. So how would one go about overcoming this issue?
Take Notes and Make a Change
I’ve noticed that a lot of my self- labeled hindrances don’t stem from nothing. They’re actual problems that I’ve seen that I don’t like. To be more specific, I’ll focus on my writing. I’ve noticed that the things I’ve seen as substandard, are things that I need to change in the first place. An example I used above was that I felt that my characters were dull. Boring characters is below the standard for myself. Furthermore, to keep these characters as such wouldn’t make me feel better in the long run. I had to understand that seeing something as substandard in the beginning isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is how I was able to pinpoint what I didn’t like in my works and to make it better.
For me, the one thing that was more detrimental than self- doubt was an unnatural change. Doing something that isn’t natural for me ends up making me feel worse about my work in the long run. Stylistically copying another person tended to make me feel as if what I was writing was substandard, especially in comparison to what I was copying. However, when I allowed myself to make changes that fit my own style I was able to progress. I had the same positive reaction to changing aspects of my work when I did so at a steady pace. Rushing is where many people, myself included, tend to make mistakes.
Like anything, it varies from person to person. For me, understanding my work and what it is that I was looking for in it is how I was able to make something to my standards.