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Introducing: The Creator Mindset Map

Creativity takes courage

We believe committing to a creative life is a courageous act. You gotta be brave to ignore other proven career paths and pave your own way in a hopeful pursuit of happiness. We see the creator’s life as akin to a hero’s journey, where the mission, should you choose to accept it, is sharing your creativity, your personal brand of magic, with the world.

Over and over and over again.

How exhilarating. How freeing. How (enter expletive) daunting.

To aid you in your pursuit of success, we here at Patreon consider ourselves your fortunate and eager business partners; we’re committed to helping you enjoy a satisfying and sustainable creative career through membership. Why? Because membership allows creators like you to have a direct relationship with your biggest fans, get paid (consistently) for your work, and create on your own terms. It’s our job to build products and tools to streamline this process for you, and encourage and help you as you go.

But we know your creative life is much bigger and more complex than your Patreon membership business. We know your contract with creativity extends beyond your patrons, your fans, and your followers. You create because you’re called to, because you couldn’t imagine doing anything else, because it fulfills you in a way nothing else ever could.

We know this, because we’re creators, too

We’ve been high on euphoric adrenaline, writing, singing, drawing, or recording our work, knowing we’re onto something our audience will love. And we’ve been deep in the belly of despair, waiting for the dark clouds of doubt to pass. Jack talks about the grind a lot, so while we are here to help you achieve your big, creative goals, we also know that sometimes? (Maybe more often than anyone cares to admit?) Nothing works.

Today we’re excited to share with you a project that affirms and validates the complexities we juggle as part of a creative career. Made for creators, by creators.

Introducing: The Creator Mindset Map

We’ve developed a Creator Mindset Map that captures the core feelings every creator experiences. Even us. Even Jack. Even, we’re betting, you.

We believe creators mentally travel between these “territories” as they bring every project and every idea to fruition. Heck, some creators can experience all four core feelings in one day. Creators may find they experience each feeling in a cyclical loop, moving from Fear to Hope to Grit to Glory, or a similar combination, with regularity. Other creators bounce like a pinball, weaving complicated webs between each of the four mindsets.

There’s no right or wrong, no beginning or end, just stages everyone experiences repeatedly, throughout their creative career. And we mean everyone, even mega-stars and super-successful creators. Even after basking in Glory for a bit, we know that Fear or Hope, or Grit await all of us with our next endeavor.

You are here and that’s okay

The Creator Mindset Map is a tool to help you... without being too cheesy here... find yourself. We hope you embrace (or at least acknowledge) your current mindset and identify your preferred destination. We’re committed to validating and witnessing your experiences by giving you permission to exist exactly where you are. And if you’re unhappy or uncomfortable with that location? We have ideas and information to help you get to where you want to be. As you wander through the map, you’ll see we’ve offered some prompts and suggestions to guide you along your journey.

But, just in case you need a reminder:

🠆 You have permission to feel hopeful in the pursuit of a creative life.

🠆 You have permission to be fearful, to feel stuck, to worry that you’re not good enough, to rage about how hard it is.

🠆 You have permission to get into the gritty details, to prioritize your creative career, to work hard at something you are passionate about.

🠆 You have permission to win big, be gleeful, experience elation, and live a joyful and joyous life as a creator.

Because all of these feelings and experiences are normal. Each mindset, every stage, offers an opportunity for positive growth and personal or professional development. And while some feelings are easier to manage than others, there isn’t a true hierarchy here. We just know that we’ll experience every sensation again, at some point, so it’s best to get familiar with these concepts and feelings and try to prepare or even plan for them.

Notable Note: Whatever mindset you’re in along your journey, is normal, valid, and totally okay.

In this, with you

In addition to our solidarity and support, we created this map to showcase how one’s creative journey is both unique and universal. Why you’re feeling a certain way is unique to your experience, but what you’re feeling is likely a common emotion among other creative people. When you say “I’m feeling stuck” or “I’m so pumped about my next project,” know that many more creators are echoing those sentiments, too. We hope when you check out the Creator Mindset Map, you’ll remember other creators are reading the same words, acknowledging the same hopes and fears, and leaning into the grit in pursuit of glory.

Notable Note: Wherever you are in your journey, know you are not alone. Many creators (including us) are in this, with you. And we’re humbled to be part of your journey.

We hope you enjoy exploring the Creator Mindset Map, and we look forward to all the great adventures we’ll go on together in the future.

Want to dive right in and learn more about each of the mindsets? Read the blogs on Hope, Fear, Grit, and Glory.

The Creator Mindset Map concept debuted as an interactive installation at PatreCon 2018. We were so floored by the engagement at the event, and inspired by the reactions, that we wanted to share it with everyone. We hope it resonates with you.

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