Even I must admit, growing up, the perception I had of the word ‘compromise’ was quite faulty. This was due largely to the manner of usage of the word around me in those years. Back then, my assumption was that compromise only meant settling – accepting standards that are clearly way below the desired. Expectedly, that denotation of the word was not the type that would spur acceptance for the act of compromising. Hence, I dogmatically concluded that making compromises for whatever reasons could never be good and advisable practice. That making compromises would be something that I would, for my own good, be wise to stay far away from.
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Thankfully, I got to learn, over the years, that compromise making doesn’t always have to imply cowardly behavior. But, even at that, my mind was still not completely renewed towards the concept of compromise. The negative understanding I had of it still subconsciously influenced me. However, as I began to pursue creative endeavors, my perception of the word slowly began to truly change. I began to see, through creative lenses, the positive sides to compromise, I was introduced to creative compromise. Creative compromise, as the name already gives away, is a form of compromise that is peculiar to creatives. It is a productive form of compromise done to further the execution of creative ideas when its progress is threatened.
One of the challenges common to creatives everywhere is the lack of resources needed to perfectly execute ideas the way they originally saw it through the eye of their mind. Hardly will the final product of any creative endeavor be a facsimile of the original idea in the creators head, and that is because creatives rarely posses the full means – funds, resources, connections – needed to turn their ideas into the exact product they originally imagined. As a result, a key part of the creative process is actually making compromises for the sake of progress. Seeing how creatives tend to share strong attachments with their ideas, the process of making creative compromises, shaving parts off our original idea, sacrificing them for progress’ sakes, isn’t one most of us actually look forward to with eager anticipation. However, in the face of limited resources, creatives have little choice but to make creative compromises.
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Along with growth as a creative comes a true understanding of the importance of creative compromise. In fact, now, I, personally, consider the ability to make these compromises the hallmark of a true creative. The important thing is that these compromises be informed and calculated, not blindly taken leaps and decisions. Understanding this need for making compromises is one of the most assured ways to make progress as a creative. You want to make a feature film, but can’t? Make a short film. Want your own Broadway show, but can’t seem to? Start with your local theatre. As creatives, waiting for everything to fall into place is a luxury we can’t afford. Such laxity will only quench hunger and urgency, which will ultimately be the death of our creative aspirations.