Degrading Other Creatives

Anti-Torture Vigil - Week 18
Justin Norman via Compfight
  • She’s a natural. 
  • Everything he does seems to turn to gold.
  • They have “the it” factor.

Slippery slope.

Attributing fellow artists’ accomplishments to anything but work ethic, desire to learn and dedication is a grave mistake for our own creativity.

Yet, it’s easy to fall into this dishonoring thinking pattern.

Would we think/speak this way with any other occupations or hobbies?

  • He’s a natural at building houses. He was born that way.
  • She just knows accounting. I don’t know how but she’s just got that “it factor’.
  • He’s so lucky at writing software and getting it to the market. 

Ridiculous, right? Then why do we sometimes think/speak this way about the work and success of our fellow creatives? Somehow it feels right (or good) for us to downplay the work of others and emphasize luck instead.

Minimizing the efforts of others by saying “he’s a natural” or “she’s got the ‘it’ factor” allows us to make excuses for our own lack of dedication and poor work ethic.

Instead, let’s celebrate others (It’s commandment #6 in this post) and watch our own creativity, work and efforts flourish into something beautiful for all to enjoy.

Brining life and beauty to the world isn’t about luck–it’s about passion translated into work. (Wanna tweet that?)

That’s beautiful.


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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Papa Mike

    I can’t say I agree with you on this one, Andrew. I think there are intangibles (such as the blessing of God) that people have difficulty describing that do affect not only artistic work but trade, business, education and other career fields as well. To give God the glory for what I see as His blessing on another person’s life or career is not to minimize my own passion or work ethic but simply to recognize that some are “put up” while others are “brought low.” And to believe God has done it for one is to believe that He may do it for all. (Didn’t mean to play the God card so strongly, but that’s what came out.)

    • annette skarin

      Huh? I think Andrew made perfect sense. Maybe you should read it again carefully. Just saying….

    • I can, at least in part, see your point, Mike. Thanks for the comment and for sharing your thoughts!

      Granted, there are intangibles. I’m addressing the part of us that gives credit to intangibles when an artist has slaved and worked hard to make the gift they’re giving (and the gift they’re given) a reality. When we do this, we discredit an artist. In the process, we also make way for ourselves to excuse our lack (ie “I just don’t have ‘it’–oh well!).

      My pastor once put it this way in a dialog…

      Listener: Wow! You really did a great job singing that song. Fantastic.

      Singer: Well, it wasn’t me. It was God.

      Listener: Well it was good, but it wasn’t THAT good.

      By honoring people, we honor our Creator.

  • annette skarin

    The only nit-picking thing I saw was the lack of g (bringing) in the quote.
    Thanks Andrew. I understand the difference. I myself have at times thought others just had “it” (luck). Several years ago I joined a creative writing group of 30 people. I celebrate them and as a result my own creativity has taken off as I apply myself.

    • Fixed it Annette! Thanks 😉

      So glad to hear of your supportive community! We all need that so desperately!

  • Super good. This is totally the season I am in right now. Appreciating the work and success of others through realizing the hard work they put in and the hurdles they jumped.

    • “Honor” is a beautiful and powerful word isn’t it?

      Truly honored to have you reading Andrew.

  • It’s sad how we will attribute the success of others to mere luck, but our own success to hard work, intelligence, and dedication. Maybe if we start attributing the success of others to the real cause, we’ll be more humble when our success comes around.