3 Ways to Seize Creative Control Over Your Life

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‘Creative Control’ in the artistic world is usually defined as someone who has “the authority to make decisions in the context of a creative project.” In the music world, it can be a decided reason to stay indie rather than signing to a major label. It means YOU get to call the shots on the direction and style of your work and how the finished product turns out.   

When you think of your life as a work of art (as I believe it is), then it becomes vital to determine who is holding the creative control. This is the person who will determine the final outcome, after all. 

Often, we give our creative control away.

We let our need to please others dictate the choices that we make. We have the role, we have the power but we convince ourselves that we aren’t ‘good enough’ in some way. The role still must be filled, so we begin either consciously or unconsciously trying to fill it. 

Perhaps you look to that one instagram girl who has all the followers and ‘perfect’ photographic feed. Maybe you look to your friends because you deeply desire a feeling of belonging. Maybe you look to a mentor or a top dog in your industry because they MUST be doing something right. They all seem to know what they are doing. They all seem happier than you feel. 

The truth is external resources and trust-worthy people can be valuable assets in your decision making and in your life. But they cannot transform your life into the true masterpiece that it could be. 

Only YOU hold that paint brush. 

But that’s the good news. When you know that life can be crafted like a work of art and you just happen to be an artist, you stop side-stepping the real work. You stop waiting on others. You own your story and decide to make it a page turner.

How you can seize creative control: 

Claim your role. 

You’ve already got the job. The truth is, the role is already yours. You can choose to show up or not but it is already your job for as long as you are here on Earth. You might as well enjoy the benefits, right?

If this is a difficult step for you, lean into your creativity. You can even write yourself an acceptance letter from the universe welcoming you on board as the creative director of your life. It may sound cheesy, but the more you ways you send your mind this message, the more your start to believe it and step up to the task at hand. 

Claim your narrative. 

What is your vision? What do you truly want for for your life as a whole? How do you want to feel along the way? Taking the time to sit with your vision will help you understand where you should point your arrow. 

Our time is limited. We can’t act on every story that we may want to explore or tell in our life. So you must prioritize. What is the MOST important vision you hold? Journal, create a vision board, or just meditate on your answer. 

Claim your purpose. 

Steve Jobs once said, “Life can be so much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call 'life' was made up by people who were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”

As artists in the field of life, we have to continue our work. We have choose to matter. We must choose to create meaning. Life is what you make it mean. No palm reader, astrological chart, or powerful person can give you any more meaning than you can give yourself.

Our entire system of life was made up by people. You are a person. And further more, if you have already done step one, you are a creative director at that! It’s time to act like it, gem!

What to Do When People Steal Your Creative Ideas

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Last week, I went through a tough experience. I had not one - but TWO of my ideas stolen. Someone took the time to copy down what I originally crafted and pass it off as their own. I was just minding my business and BAM, cue Twilight zone music and my jaw hitting the floor. 

* Disclaimer * I’m not qualified to advise you directly on how to legally handle copyright issues, etc. That is, rightfully, a job reserved for well-trained attorneys that specialize in that field. Go to the pro’s, people! I never wish to misguide another creative on the actions they should take when this happens to them.

But there is another side to this experience that I would like to address for my fellow creatives. Going through something like this can derail your mindset and your inner world, if you let it. Personally, it took me a day of venting and writing through to process what I was feeling. I finally landed on a healthy way of reframing the situation. 

As a lifelong songwriter, I think very highly of original, heartfelt work. I take risks to say what I need to say. I focus on the process, not the result or reaction. I LIVE for those moments where I’m expressing my truth.  

When I see others plagiarizing or stealing ideas, it honestly makes me sad. Because they are focused on the OUTCOME and the perceived gain, rather than tapping into the magic of their own inner voice. 

And the cold, hard truth?

You are not guaranteed the same results. The reason that idea worked for somebody else is because they tapped into something real and raw that shot to the core of who they are. 

Have you ever seen that remarkable video of Maggie Rogers?

You know, the one that went that went viral and jumpstarted her music career…

Pharrell Williams, a Grammy winning producer and artist, visibly falls in love with her music. But instead of turning to the class and recommending that they all mimic Maggie’s beautiful sound….

Instead, he says something profound. 

“I want all of you guys to know that you possess the ability to do that for yourself.

You have to be willing…” 

He goes on to talk about how they can create something unique that has never been done before…they just have to be willing to go there. 

That’s my strong belief as well. 

So yeah, it was frustrating to see someone using something I poured my HEART into. But it made me feel much worse for them. They are missing out on their OWN magic - magic that we each possess inside of us.

There’s no need to search any further for your own magic than your inner self.

My guide for processing…

Feel Your Emotions: 

I CRIED. No BS, here. It hurts to feel taken from and it hurts to see people not play fair. It hurts to feel like they can gain from something that was your way of creating meaning and purpose. Crying physically releases the emotion which gives you a chance to move on. 

Talk about your feelings: 

I spoke to my fiancé about my feelings and expressed my hurt and pain. My feelings deserved to be acknowledged and validated, even though I knew I didn’t want to stay stuck there. 

Re-claim your Magic: 

I leaned in EVEN CLOSER to my own vision and magic. I pulled up a blank document on my laptop and started typing out my vision moving forward. This space CANNOT be taken from us no matter what. As creatives, we always have the ability to connect to our inner spark. This is your magic - that special something that only you can bring your work. 

Healthy Mindset: 

I shifted my mindset and reminded myself of an important truth…They can steal the song, but not the songwriter. They can steal the photo, but not the photographer. They can steal the vision, but NOT the visionary. 

You DESERVE all of the beautiful magic inside of you my gems. 

Lean into it and shine on…

I empower creative women to value themselves, connect with their inner wisdom & express their creativity, raw & real. I would love to help you lean into your magic: