How you’ll know if it’s creative work: you can’t do it perfectly.
You can’t write the perfect message, play the song exactly right, fully nail the presentation, crush teaching the class, figure out where the blender looks best on the countertop, etc.
Maybe you think “they” can. But that’s not how creativity works, it’s how perfection works.
Perfection is a 100% external judgment. Most of us will never think anything we’ve ever done is perfect* and that’s ok. Perfection is a ruler best lost in the junk drawer.
What’s more useful than perfection? Healthy striving. Healthy striving is the 100% internally driven opposite of perfection.
Healthy striving, where we slow ourselves down enough to notice and feel good about the work we actually did, is a 100% internal gauge.
Healthy striving is the source of all creative work. We admit it can’t be done perfectly and we do the work we are proud of.
Anything you do – if it can’t be done perfectly (hint: it can’t) – is creative work. Approach it appropriately.
*most. We know who they are.
pss. With much self-doubt and outside emotional support, the blender eventually found a satisfactory home. Thank the gods.