Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

The One Factor that Will Determine Your Creative Success

Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms carry out your plan. ~Paul Meyer

It’s easy for someone to tell you to be clear about your goals, to make a plan to achieve them and set yourself a deadline. And it’s just as easy to say you must have supreme confidence and a disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms.

So then, what factor will actually determine your creative success?

Creative Commons by Nick Wheeleroz

Creative Commons by Nick Wheeleroz


In order to have supreme confidence and a disregard for criticism you’ve got to be willing to be considered delusional.

No one who has ever accomplished greatness was considered rational and level headed. Those are for the average ticket punchers.

Greatness comes with a price and it’s your sanity through the eyes of others.

You Are Not Average.

So don’t act average.

We are taught all of our lives to fit it, to be normal and to comply. And yet, it’s not possible to create anything that matters if you’re fitting in, acting normal and simply complying with the rules of society’s every one is the same game.

Besides, if you really are a ticket puncher, a software program will eventually take your place anyway.

So much for fitting in and complying.

In order to be creatively successful you must check your sanity at the door and step away from predictability.

Can you make a difference? Yes. You Can.

You’ve got to be determined to make a difference.

Nearly everyone will tell you that you must have a specific goal.

I’m not going to tell you that.

You might not have a specific goal right now, but what you probably have is an idea, just a notion of what you want to create, and that’s enough to get started.

It doesn’t help to make a specific goal for something you don’t completely understand yet. (If you agree, tweet it.)

The more important issue is to begin working your idea and allow it the flexibility to go in any direction.

Explore your idea and give it the room it needs to breathe and grow.

A clear goal will get you from point A to point B, but an idea has wide open possibilities.

Before you can set a goal you must discover what all the possibilities are and which way you want to go with them. Then you can start setting goals.

What’s more important is the determination to do something with your idea.

There are dreamers and there are doers.

It’s best to be a dreamer who is a doer. (Go ahead and tweet this.)

A dreamer who is a doer does whatever it takes to make his or her dream a reality.

When you make it a reality you won’t be considered delusional anymore, you’ll be considered a genius.

It’s kind of weird how that works. Isn’t it?

Know this:

Others who are compelled to try to stop you do it because they themselves are not willing to be considered delusional and they are always going to strive to fit in.

Seriously, there’s not much striving in fitting in.

They perceive you as a threat to their way of living, and if you succeed then what are they really doing?

Not much.

But they are creative, too. They are just not willing to see it or believe it, even after you show them what is possible.

Be crazy, be a ruckus maker, and for Pete’s sake be as unique and different as you are. It’s okay to be seen as delusional.

You do not need to fit in.

And if someone else says it can’t be done, well, they won’t do it. But you just might.

What creative adventure are you exploring today? Share in the comments.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • kathunsworth

    Thanks Bryan I am a dreamer, who now has a strong goal to finish her first picture book, I am going through the process and breaking it down inch by inch I can see the finished product in my mind and for me thats a big thing, I loved this post it had a certain ping to it, and left me feeling I am on the right track and I must stay on it until it is done thank you.

    • I know you will stay on it, Kath. You mention something I like to do as well, once I finally figure out what my goal is I like to visualize the final product in my mind. Visualize, then actualize 🙂

  • Renia Carsillo

    Love this one Bryan! Thank you for the Monday morning encouragement!

  • Loved this Bryan. Tweeted and will share it. I especially liked this line, “And if someone else says it can’t be done, well, they won’t do it. But you just might.” It reminded me of the time I was learning to drive in Colorado. I was 30 learning to drive for the first time. (my dad wouldn’t let me take it in school). Anyway, we had a little Le Car which was 4 speed and there we were in mountainous Colorado. I knew NOTHING about driving. My husband thought it would be easy teaching me. It kept killing and finally he said, “You’ll never get this.” Well I did! I just got myself a different teacher! My friend who would say after each attempt, “See, I knew you could do it!”

    I once wrote a paper about publishing Poetry. The research I found was very negative. My attitude was, “Just watch me.”

    The creative endeavor now is launching the book I’m working on. It is 5 x as many words as my first one. It’s been a challenge, but it will happen.

    • Yes, Anne. It will happen. And a wonderful book it is! It really does make a difference when people encourage or discourage, and not everyone is cut out to be a “teacher”.

  • I absolutely loved this. Thank you for it. I hope it’s ok with you if I share it on my facebook. There’s something about the fact that someone is finally acknowledging that delusion plays a heavy role in creative success that is just….a relief. I’m not the only one!

    • April, you can always share on facebook and anywhere else you like. Thanks!

  • The fact is that no one will ever be as passionate about our dreams as ourselves. Most people will never get it. You are right Bryan, we have find the motivation within and be OK with being delusional.

  • Very good post. Glad I found my way here. I am working on getting my own blog off and running and I often feel delusional in my efforts. So, now I am worried what other people are really thinking!

  • Laura Cowan

    Thank you, Bryan. Perfect advice for me today, as I create something truly nuts. 🙂 The craziest thing isn’t just daring to be a writer with real ambitions, or doing it while being a stay-at-home mom (that’s a sacrifice of reputation more than perceived sanity), or writing literary crossover contemporary fantasy of all weird and wonderful varieties. What has been seeming nuts to me lately is that I seem to be accelerating, and I have been nervous I was rushing things (not fitting in, even with other writers, yikes!). But after self-pubbing my first novel in February after 4 years of work, I am now finishing the edit on a novel I wrote last year, editing my first short story collection, and starting the edit on another novel I wrote last year… while also plotting two new stories that are biting at my heels. Wow! My brand of crazy has always had a motor strapped on it, though, so I guess I’m finally back in my comfort zone: the fast lane. Thanks for the reminder that just because it doesn’t look like anyone else’s process doesn’t mean it’s not exactly the way I’m supposed to work.

  • Hi Bryan, without internet for nearly a week and your post is like an elixir for my soul. I absolutely relate to what you are saying. It took me 42 years to realize I’m not average, never was and never will be. And like you said, and Kath & Anne confirmed, we are all dreamers but doers as well. Thank you for making my week, so far. Sardinia awaits. Just there, on the horizon. New adventures.

  • “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Please misunderstand this comment, my blog, and me. PLEASE.

  • Pingback: The Writer's Weekly Wrap-Up (Issue #10) | Your Writer Platform()

  • Bettina Hollingsworth

    Delusional! Is that all? Shwew! Finally, a diagnosis! LOL — “They” already think of me that way anyhow – so I guess saying it out loud and acknowledging to myself – that I am willing to be considered such – isn’t so bad is it? Thank you so much for this, Bryan! I am at a point in my life and (future) career – where I suddenly see I am going to have to go it completely alone…writing for an audience of One at present – but ‘supremely confident’ there is a market for my work. Greatness comes with a price – always – thank you for the reminder. Greatness is not the goal – but I see now it is a requirement in order to reach my objective. Thank you. (Thanks also to Kimberley Grabas at Your Writer Platform who linked to this post.)

  • Mary Gottschalk

    Love it …much the same theme as my blog about Charlie Wittmack, a world triathlete who always set goals people told him were impossible. He’s achieved most of them, but even when fell short, he accomplished so much more than anyone (including himself) thought he could do!

  • Joan Z.rough

    I love this. I’ve been spending all my time worrying but now I can quit and just be myself. Thanks!

  • Diana Shallard

    There are a few days when I say to myself,
    “Self, WTH do you think you’re doing – writing a novel and hoping it
    gets read?” But then there are many other days, when I read what I wrote
    and say, “Dang girl, you’ve got something worth reading!” Here’s to
    keeping the eyes on the prize. Thx for the inspiration.