My friend, Melanie Martin posted this on Facebook:
Great story! It hit me in the belly. I call it “creator’s remorse.” It happens for me .every.single.time. I release something into the world or work with a complex client or project. Every.single.time. Here’s what I do to treat the malady:
- Tell the whole story: the situation/set up, what happened next, the result, and the after-result (what I felt like afterwards);
- Make a list of:
+ Things I’ll never do again (never take a client/gig when your gut is telling you to RUN)
+ Things I could have approached differently
+ Things that totally surprised me (that I really couldn’t have been ready for)
- Finally, I commit to NOT doing the first, systematizing the second, and praying for the third (well, the good ones, at least).
Three BONUS acts of remorse-prevention (always go for prevention versus treatment, right? Right!)
- “CUT IT OUT!” Say it out loud. Voice your complaints once, and then start your next project with those adjustments in mind. Are you doing a crappy job at your job? Then sharpen your craft, take a class or get a mentor.
- PLAN time for creator’s remorse recovery (including bitchfesting). It’s taxing to be seen, to put something out in the world. You suddenly see it as if you are seeing it through 10,000 others’ eyes. You know how different a new boyfriend or girlfriend looks after you’ve introduced them to your friends? Yeah, like that. So, PLAN for it. Set a walk&talk date with a friend who will listen with a scribe’s ear to hear the things that might actually be useful to you and forgive the gripe-fest parts. Then, listen back to your friend, say, “thank you for listening” and then pat yourself on the back for making art or doing your job or taking the risk to go big and belly flop.
- Get a hobby to distract yourself while you come down from post-completion syndrome so you have something to do with your hands besides shovel chocolate covered potato chips (damn you, Trader Joes!).
As for Melanie? Following our Facebook exchange, she had this to say:
I think accepting and planning for the fact that I will feel this way will help a lot. I am planning to not dive into the editing straight after the event but mourn a bit for a day and then tackle it because this way I can put some distance between the exhausted “I just shot a wedding” feeling and the dread of looking at the photos. And maybe accepting that all is not as bad as I see it and try to see it through my clients’ eyes will help.
Your turn: do you have creator’s remorse? What do you do about it? Tell me in the comments, puh-leeze. Thank you.
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Now share the anti-creator’s remorse love with a friend with these handy pre-made tweets:
Know anything about creator’s remorse? http://bit.ly/u9FPrk @_melaniemartin and @DyanaValentine do…
Creator’s remorse usually presents as a bitchfest–what are you doing about it? @DyanaValentine & @_melaniemartin tell here: http://bit.ly/u9FPrk
@DyanaValentine and @_melaniemartin suffer from creator’s remorse. Do you? http://bit.ly/u9FPrk
Did you know that I’m doing free monthly calls? Well, now you do–so click here and sign up to get the call in info. This month’s is this Friday, yes Black Friday. What better time to tune in, listen to a dream and ask your burning questions? Hear you there.