There comes a day (or several) in every creative’s life when the work they have just presented is pushed off the table by a very smug cat (or several). They will knock it down, and while it’s falling they will hiss and claw, and when it lands they’ll probably pee on it, and you, a little. It’s not personal. It’s just what cats do.
There are 3 very important things to remember in order to start creating again:
- You will start creating again. That cat is not the be-all-end-all of your creative career. Unless that cat fired you. Then it really might be, but probably not. You will get up, brush off the cat piss, and climb that creative ladder. Wrung by glorious wrung. “Cats can knock you over, but they cannot hold you down.”-Chinese Proverb
- Even cats have off days. Creative pursuits are so incredibly subjective. And it goes beyond your work. What’s going on in that cat marriage? Maybe they’re tired, or have a cat superiority complex. That’s not to say your work is always amazing and should be universally praised. Sometimes it really is trash and deserves to get peed on. But sometimes, this particular cat is cranky and moody and just wants to pee on you extra hard because you happen to be the last person that walked into his office that day. Just sayin, it’s not personal. It never is. Some cats are just meaner about knocking down your work than others. But it’s about the work, not you. That being said, cats are mean, and if you want to cry for 2 or 3 hours alone in your room after it happens, you are entitled to that. And even though you are scratched up and peed on, doesn’t it feel really damn good to care about something so much?
- It gets easier. It really, really does. You develop a thicker skin every time. By the sixth or seventh time, you’ll barely even feel the claws. Plus, after years of creating, you collect so much positivity to use in those down times. Every minute spent with your peers being silly and weird, experiencing new things, enjoying life together, and creating awesome, stupid, wild shit. That is what makes the cat piss worth while. Oh, and someone telling you that cats don’t matter. Because they don’t.
Everyone gets peed on. It’s how we clean ourselves up that sets us apart.
That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.
Peace, love & #circuspanel.