James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

12: Commit To Your Clique

This weekend, I stood up in one of my closest friend’s marriage. I’ve known Mike for quite some time, so it was surreal to see him make one of his biggest commitments in front of his immediate friends and family. Aside from the vast amount of love and friendship in the room, there’s something brave about publicly declaring a commitment. In Mike’s case, it was announcing to his  guests that he promises to love his high school sweetheart for the rest of his life. What if every time we chose to commit to something, we had to declare it publicly to our loved ones? Would we be more apt to stick to it? Will these witnesses act as accountability partners that make sure you stay on track? Do these accountability partners separate those that make their ideas into tangible work from those that just talk about their ideas on social media?
 
Until about a year ago, I never told anyone if I had a new interest or made major headway on a project in fear of rejection, disinterest, and the having to face the ownership of finishing what I started. I’ve had the embarrassing moment of not having anything to share when a friend asks “how’s that thing you’ve been working on?” Andrea Pippins of Fly Girl Blog talks about keeping a creative clique, or a circle of like minded individuals that are not only there to bounce off ideas, but keep you accountable for things you are working on. Even though thoughts and ideas are much safer when kept to yourself, the greater risk (and later, greater personal gain) comes through sharing those ideas with others.

Much like Mike and Brittany proclaiming their love to a circle of loved ones, what if we proclaimed our ideas to our circles of friends and colleagues? Perhaps they will have a better chance of moving from ideas to something tangible. Sure it’s vulnerable and scary, but much like love, you have to take a chance to gain something valuable in your life. Do you have a creative clique or have a story about sharing ideas with others? Hit reply and let me know.

Thanks for reading and see you next week,

-James

What did I find interesting this week?

1) Ryan Gosling Kissing Generator: Probably the most fun you’ll have this Monday. Place your photo next to Ryan Gosling and kiss him. Here’s my photo.

2) Twitter, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down: Enjoyed this piece by Quinn Norton on how the importance of time and how it can get sucked away on the internet. Really meta.

3) Excuses, Excuses: As always, Erika Hall writes well. Here’s her take on the importance of research in the creative process.

4) Be Part of a Creative Clique: As referenced above, here’s the piece by Andrea Pippins on the importance of keeping a creative clique (or a critique circle).

James T. Green