Stop Asking Them To “Do It Again”
A malady that plagues creatives and academics alike, is the never-ending aspiration to “do it again”.
As a newbie, you create something that turns out to be a gem, a hit, and the critics, audience, and your colleagues all love it. You are celebrated.
What is next for you to do? Of the millions of other topics, themes, styles, and pattern that are up for consideration, all everyone wants you to create, is the same thing you just did.
In academia, it is the fastest way to get tenured. They want you to be an expert of something you are already an expert at.
Even if you have developed an interest in something else, your departmental head, dean, faculty, sponsors, they all want the same thing.
The same thing you just did.
With creatives, everyone wanted another African Queen from 2 Face. Styleplus should have given us another Olufunmi. Why is Banky W rapping? Ice Prince needs to recreate Oleku.
Asa should give us Bibanke part 2, and fire on the mountain part 2.
For Brymo, first, he should have stuck with that Ara sound. Next, he should have done something like Merchant, Dealers and Slaves. He just needed to stop experimenting with the sounds we have come to love.
Ultimately, creatives are on a journey. They must experiment. Not everything they do will be a hit, and it is not everything they do that you, in particular, will like.
You don’t have to like every Chimamanda Adichie’s book. But that one you don’t like doesn’t become bad, or the weakest of her canons. It just wasn’t your taste. And no, it doesn’t mean her writing is now bad.
Taste varies, and creatives change. As we mature, the subject matter that we consider important also changes.
Sometimes, the creative might have had an intention to create this new work before they did the one you knew them for. Everything they had done until now was just to get an inroad into the industry. Why not give them a chance.
When executives, fans, and the media pressure creatives to do it again, creatives tend to regurgitate products. You will buy five books, albums, or movies from the same guy, but all they’ve done is tell the same story again. And again.
Creatives often pursue a career in the arts, sacrificing financial stability for a sense of purpose. They find that purpose in creating things that their hearts lead them to.
When that freedom is threatened, stifled, or thwarted, they feel frustrated. It can even lead to creative block, and in extreme cases depression.
Support your favourite creatives and stop asking them to do the same thing again. Bringing an idea to life is difficult enough. Doing it with the hope that it will be appreciated and well-received is more pressure. Just asking them to “do it again” is plain wickedness.
As much as they are happy that they are being paid to do what they love, they will appreciate it if they are allowed to do it with their sanity in place.
Will you be kind enough to stop asking them to do it again?