I love reading and thinking about the "creative process" from writers, actors, and artists. I took a creative process class in graduate school, and since then I've always seen it as something that is it's only living thing that needs to be created and cultivated in a creative person's life.
Most focused this past week on Brad Pitt's comments about Jennifer Aniston, but the most interesting from that Parade article was about the creative process.
In it he said:
"The first version of a script is always the most organic. Then too many voices get involved in the process and start trying to hone it and shape it into what they think a movie should be and what an audience wants. Suddenly the movie loses its actual reason for being made. It happens time and time again. When I did Legends of the Fall, I was always quite at odds with the romance in the movie, but that’s the way the film went. Then, after the movie was shot, the scene I loved the most was taken out of the film. They told me the reason was that, in market testing, the audience disliked it. This is when I first became hip to marketing tests. I said, 'Show me.' It was the second most-disliked scene. But it was also the most-liked scene. My argument then—and it would still stand today—is that what you get from testing people is a visceral reaction, good or bad. You’re asking them if they dislike it, when maybe it’s that they’re uncomfortable with it. And that’s a good thing. There is an underestimation of an audience’s capacity to deal with difficult material. There are very few [film] people who really understand story. And those are the people I try to work with."
Putting your work out there for others to judge is hands down the hardest part about creating anything. I've even found that to be true about having children. Being a parent is one of those jobs where you're judged by everyone, and it can be hard sometimes because your children are a reflection of you, just like your art.
In school I wrote a paper about how your art is like your child and how the creative process is like having children. I still believe it after having a child. Your child is just a different kind of "art".