I recently got caught up in an article by Justin Gammill called: 10 Things to Keep in Mind When Loving a Highly Creative Person. As a highly creative person who walks a fine line between getting lost in her craft and making sure her husband has clean work shirts, I was curious what Gammill had to say.
I’ll let you read Gammill’s article and decide for yourself if you agree with him. My thoughts came to me in the 10 counterpoints below.
Behind every highly creative person, be it a writer, artist, game designer, photographer or even a basic quilter, there is usually a highly practical person supporting their creative pursuits. Highly practical people allow highly creative people to create. Here’s a guide for highly creative types when dealing with your practical counterparts.
1. Highly Practical People (HiPracs) Like Cleanliness and Order
HiPracs like to pull their laundry out of drawers, not the clothes dryer. They prefer an empty sink and a dishwasher full of clean dishes. They get stymied and frustrated by random boxes on the floor, and stacks of books scattered across multiple rooms. Try to keep your creative clutter to a single location. Set aside an hour each week to do dishes and fold laundry. Your highly practical person – once they get over the tragic loss of the dust bunnies they have bonded with – will allow you to be even more highly creative.
2. Highly Practical People are Often Linear Thinkers
I personally have no clue why linear thinking is even necessary. Why go through B, C, and D when you can shoot straight from A to E? That’s just so impractical! It takes time and effort I could be using to create! Highly creative types in committed relationships need to recognize and respect that our highly practical partners cannot automatically fold logic the way we can. Avoid arguments that take time away from your ability to create by at least explaining what B, C, and D are, even if you have to make them up.
3. Highly Practical People Need Conversation
I am continuously stymied by my husband’s desire to speak, at length no less. I’m a writer. I need to write. What’s there to talk about? My personal bane is phone conversation. Why, if we live together, to my husband and I need to speak on the phone after work. Highly creative types need to recognize that HiPracs actually need to talk. They use communication as a way to make plans, develop solutions to problems, and write grocery lists. Ensure you have the proper fuel for the creative process by stepping out of your own world asking your HiPrac how their day at the office went once in awhile.
4. Highly Practical People are Intensely Focused… On the Bottom Line
The laser focus of your creative mind is a gift you share with your HiPrac. HiPracsare laser focused…on making sure the mortgage is paid and the electricity powering your computer stays on. Don’t get so lost in the creative process you fail to take keep an eye on the bottom line. Take time once a month to go over the finances with your partner. Periscope up from your paintbrush once in awhile and ask what the mortgage is paid down to, or what the car insurance premiums are. Your HiPrac partner’s blank stare can be captured with your iPhone and used as the basis for a watercolor commentary on society later.
5. Highly Practical People Have Deep Emotions. They Just Think Before Expressing Them
HiPracs feel just as deeply as highly creative types, they just don’t express those feelings in the same way. A highly practical person won’t tell you they love you. They will show you in unexpected ways. Never doubt your highly practical other half’s feelings for you. If you do, remember point #3. Have a conversation with your HiPrac about your feelings. You’ll be glad you did. Besides, the dust bunny they’ve been playing with, named George, by the way, is tired and needs a break.
6. Highly Practical People Need Sleep
While highly practical people do occasionally experience insomnia, they generally require at least 7 hours of sleep a night. During this time their brain shuts down. Unlike our highly creative minds, a highly practical mind gathers its creative and logical energy during this shut down time. When your HiPrac comes to bed, close down your laptop. If you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, grab your notepad and jot it down in the bathroom, with the bedroom door closed so your highly practical isn’t woken up by the light.
7. They Battle with Themselves About How Much Slack to Give Your Creative Spirit
Living with a highly creative person can be a real struggle. Your highly practical counterpart does not understand how you got lost for eight hours in that blog. They don’t get why you need more fabric if you just bought five yards of it yesterday. They want to support you, but they also want a vacuumed floor. Being in a committed relationship means balancing your creative needs with the needs of your partner. Cut your highly practical some slack by occasionally rolling out the Dyson, and resisting the urge to buy that new set of paint brushes.
8. Intuition is Just as Important to Highly Practicals, It Just Doesn’t Reign Supreme
Highly Practical people are intuitive. They have “bad feelings about this”. They follow their instincts. They just balance those instincts with logic, forethought, and careful consideration. This can work to your highly creative advantage. Before you charge off on your intuition, at least consult with your highly practical. They may have an insight you’ll wish you had later.
9. They Struggle with Confidence Just as Much as You Do
Just because someone is highly practical does not mean they are highly confident. HiPracs doubts themselves just as much as you do. They worry about – very often – the same things you do. Highly Practicals just hide it better. I will go on and on about every decision I make for my kid. I’ll revisit it a million times. I’ll write about it and pontificate on it. My husband has a congenital birth defect that affects his right hand. . He never says a word about it, but the first time he meets someone, that hand goes into a pocket. Respect your HiPrac’s feelings.
10. Highly Practical People are Grown Ups… On the Outside
HiPracs are as childish as we are under the surface. They just don’t express it in public or in mixed company. Highly Practicals can be carefree and impetuous. They’ll just make sure the electric bill is paid before they head up the coast of Maine on a random adventure. Respect that tempered impetuousness. Remember, you need the electricity to power your drillpress.
In short, a highly practical partner is key to maintaining a high level of creativity. Without someone to anchor your creative soul, it has the potential to blow away. You don’t want that. You want someone keeping at least a toe on the ground.
You also need that electric bill and the mortgage paid. Let’s face it: you’re going to get lost in your creative process the day they’re due and forget.
Speaking of which… .
–CMR; 12:21 p.m.