Creativity Bullies

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Image courtesy of Sue Fitzmaurice https://www.facebook.com/SueFitz50

A “creativity bully” is someone who feels that you shouldn’t do the things you’re passionate about if some aspect of your creative work rubs them the wrong way.

Rather than spend their time focusing on people who do things they like, creativity bullies like to spend their time and energy picking on the ones who aren’t playing their preferred tune.

The first amendment right of the creativity bully is “I have the right to be unoffended.”

If they don’t believe in God, they ask you to take references to “God” out of your work. If they do believe in God, they complain about you not referencing him enough. And if the issue isn’t God, it’s politics, music, food, animals, or something else. As long as there’s something to protest, the creativity bully will find it.

Creativity bullies are not interested in the kind of reasonable and respectful dialogue where YOU get to have a valid perspective. They’re just interested in telling you what to do. Their goal is to invalidate your efforts while controlling the outflow of your creative energy.

What’s important to remember about creativity bullies is that the specific content of their objections is unimportant. Their energy doesn’t come from their belief or non-belief in this or that. Their energy comes from their inner battles with their own resistance. The disgust they feel towards your creative freedom is a projection of the tension they carry from their own bottled-up creative impulses.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard on dealing with creativity bullies comes from my friend Ben Angelo:

Bare your soul like a bad ass!

That is, dance to the rhythm of who you truly are and don’t take shit from anybody.

Stephen King wrote, “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.”

Go back and re-read that quote, but replace the word “write” with “create.”

The message: Creativity is not nice. Own that fact and be ruthlessly unapologetic about your determination to make honest art.

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