The Emotional Challenges of Creative Work - The Doug Neill Show - Episode #19

The Emotional Challenges of Creative Work

The challenges of making and sharing your creative work on a regular basis, and the practices that I’ve found to be helpful in addressing those challenges.

The Doug Neill Show: Episode #19

Recorded on April 22nd, 2019

You can browse all episodes here.

The Setup

0:42 – 2:34

How I’ve come to see creative work as nothing more than 20 minutes of emotional labor at a time.

Our Conversation About Emotional Challenges

2:34 – 18:35

George and I talking about the benefits of meditation and trying not to set expectations.

  • The “soft skill” needed: a sense of separation between your self worth and the work you creative.
  • Your role is to show up each day and do the best work you can, then put it out there, then let it go.
  • How I’ve been retraining my brain: intentionally choosing how I evaluate how my day. The danger: associating your mood to that day’s metrics – likes, sales, etc. What I’m checking instead: did I put in the hours, and what was the quality of my attention?
  • Another way I retrain my brain: meditation. Turn up my thoughts to pay attention to my inner dialogue. Is this the story I was to be telling myself right now? How can I reframe it in a more healthy way? Build the muscle of being aware of your inner dialogue. Where I put meditation: mid morning, after my first work session, to bring me down from a high (avoid setting expectations) and up from a low – back to a good equilibrium.
  • It’s the DAILY meditation that’s important: these things that we’re describing aren’t going to go away, so it’s more about building in the practices to deal with them so that they don’t stop you.

The Follow-Up

18:45 – 25:58

A few other regular practices that help me deal with emotional challenges.

  • My morning journaling process, which I described in this episode. Helps to turn up the volume on my thoughts for the rest of the day.
  • The Brené Brown special on Netflix is worth checking out. “The story I’m telling myself is…” Use that phrase in your relationships, but also with your inner dialogue.
  • I’ve found that going to therapy on a weekly basis has been incredibly helpful as well, especially in getting to know myself on a deeper level – self-awareness that comes in handy all of the time.
  • The trifecta: morning journaling, daily mediation, and weekly journaling.
  • Another that clicked thanks to Brene Brown: a “vulnerability hangover.” That’s exactly how I felt right after my long conversation with George, which I talked about in this episode: Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone.
  • The prompt: what are the regular practices that you have in place to deal with the inevitable emotional challenges that crop up in connection to your creative work?

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Thanks for listening, and talk with you again next week!

-Doug