Genevra Siciliano

Writer in Adelaide, Australia.

Why is Your Creative Career Really Not Taking Off?

Too often we make it more about what stands before us, and we miss all that stands within us.
–Craig D. Lounsbrough

What can one say to someone who is talented in their chosen craft but doesn’t appear to be able to gain traction on the career side of it (assuming that’s what they want to do as their career)?

How to explain why some people are making it but others are not? For this piece, I’ve defined “making it” as being able to support yourself financially with your craft.

“You don’t want it bad enough.” I guess you may have heard that before. Perhaps it’s true in some cases, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. If I had to boil it down, I’d say it’s because we’re not truly ready for it. How do you know if you are ready? Furthermore, how does one become ready?

I think that roadblocks play a huge part.

A creative (or any worker trying to kickstart their career) is unable to take their skill to the next level when there is a roadblock in place. It’s even trickier when you haven’t realised that the barriers are there.

I’ve given some thought to the types of barriers that can exist: mental, energy, universe, physical and karma.

Mental

This relates to your belief system. What do you tell yourself in regards to your goals? Do you really believe you can do it? Do you feel that you are worthy of it? Like they say, you create your own reality . . .

Energy

If your spirit feels somewhat tattered, this can affect your vibrations. Some people know when they feel off-balance in that way, but if you can’t really tell, then take a look at your mood on most days. Do you tend to feel down about your craft? If yes, ask yourself these questions: are you always hanging around negative people? Are you allowing people to have high expectations of you? Are you placing unnecessary pressure on yourself? This kind of toxicity will affect your energy.

Physical

Do you have the stamina to go the distance? Can you physically put in the work and do it? Are you taking action? Even little steps? Nothing’s going to fall in your lap, right?

Karma

Is your heart in the right place? Are you quick to criticise others? Are you generally spewing forth negativity into the world? Are you constantly judging, getting jealous or envious? Are you getting caught up in matters that don’t concern you? Here’s an everyday example: on the road, let people into your lane—one more car isn’t going to make you lose your job or your client or whatever. This attitude is part of a bigger picture: don’t punish other people because you aren’t happy with how your life is progressing.

Universe

If you feel you’ve got it all covered (you’re positive, you’re physically able, you’ve got healthy energy around you, you’re acting with kindness), then that leaves the out-of-your-control factor. If everything seems aligned, except the stars, the plain truth is that the universe calls the shots. Perhaps the universe does not believe you are ready, or that there is something else you need to work on or focus on first. Maybe the universe has something better in store for you. Sometimes, the universe has flat-out decided that the timing is not right.

Jeff Goins addresses some of the points that I have raised and explores them on a deeper level (giving compelling case studies) in his book, The Art of Work. It’s a great read.

If you believe it’s the universe that is not playing ball, here are some tips to keep your sanity and persevere: let go and release your preconceptions of how things should come to pass, pray (if you are spiritually inclined), don’t give up, change your approach, help out someone else in need, collaborate with another creative, or do something different for a while.

My Own Roadblocks

Looking within, I don’t wonder why I haven’t made it as a writer because I know that I haven’t consistently put the work in yet. I’ve only recently accepted that writing is my life–I’ve spent many years believing that I am not a real writer.

Not only that, I am a mum, first. Trying to go hard creatively while I’ve got a two-year-old at home by my side is unrealistic for me. My current roadblocks are at the physical level.

You can be kinder to yourself and be more accepting of your circumstances when you know what your roadblocks are. Don’t ask yourself: how badly do you want it? Rather, how badly do you want to overcome the roadblocks?

I know what to work on for myself, but how about you?

Is there another barrier type that I have not mentioned that is a problem for you? Or, how have you overcome roadblocks in your creative career path?


17 Comments

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About Genevra Siciliano

I am a writer and photographer based in South Australia, and the self-published author of a photography book called 'Picture In A Frame’. It was funded by Kickstarter. These days, I am working on my second novel and have been pushing forward with my goal to become traditionally published. I am documenting my writer journey over at Patreon where I hope you’ll follow my updates and consider supporting me. Thank you!

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17 Replies

    1. Thanks abzfab for stopping by.

  1. I totally agree with the Energy and Physical parts. I’ve struggled with both of those.

    1. Thanks Nicol for reading and commenting.

  2. Love this and happy to read a little about your struggles and insights too!

    1. Hi Jessi, I appreciate your comment. : )

  3. A very interesting post. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This post really resonates with me. I left the corporate world a few months ago to pursue writing and felt disappointed when it didn’t happen the way I believed it should have. When I changed my mindset, my life and my writing changed. We pour ourselves into this. Traces of where we are emotionally are left behind in our words. It’s so important to evaluate where you are before putting pen to paper. I’m also a mother chasing a dream. Thank you for sharing! ❤️

    1. I’m really happy to hear this resonated. That’s my one goal when I put out a piece on my blog. Chasing dreams can be fun but also frustrating–perhaps heartbreaking for some. I think the only way to stay sane is to truly love and appreciate the chase.

  5. goatdogsimple

    Great read! I think there are different reasons for not following through on our creative pursuits. For me, there’s always been something more pressing or important. And I’ve come to realize dreams are important, too. Make room for them. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    1. Hi there – for sure – a lot of the time it’s knowing what to prioritise. Having a dream or goal can make you feel purposeful. Good luck with yours!

  6. Hey I really liked this post, it really spoke to me. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nessa, I’m glad some of it resonated. Take care.

  7. livingwithmyidiot.com

    This is a thought provoking post. Sometimes, it feels like wanting something bad enough should be what just hands it to me. But there are so many other factors at work like you mentioned. My own preparedness for it being one of those factors. Thank you for sharing

    1. Hi LWMI, sometimes I write these posts as a personal reminder not to be so hard on myself. Thanks for your comment : )

  8. Thank you for the reminder to be a bit more kind to myself. I try to do everything right, but as you said, sometimes the world just has a different plan for different time. Hard work is key, but patience and perseverance are too.

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