For quite some time, I have been captivated by the mechanics of creativity. I love to find, on a more universal level, what works to bring out a more creative state, and conversely the common factors that inhibit that state. It seems like creativity is universal to the human experience, yet it can be a particularly illusive and slippery state to access. Sometimes I do zero work and it feels like material is simply flowing through me, other times, using the words of a good friend, it feels like I’m pulling out broken glass from inside myself. To fully analyze this would be to go far beyond the scope of this blog, more importantly it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all answer, and MOST importantly I am far too unqualified to analyze the full underpinnings of creativity within the human experience! Therefore I will talk about my own recent experiences with creativity and hopefully some of you share similar experiences or have something to add.
Since I’ve been explicit in following the creative path as a writer, many challenges have arisen. I have been quite diligent in my writing schedule, attempting at least one good hour each day. I have been taking notes about things that strike me as funny or interesting, wanting to stay inspired. What I did not imagine to come on so strong was the fear of the delivery and what comes after it. I got so caught up in questions like: Do I have what it takes in terms of ability? Am I going to be able to support myself with this? And so on… Now I had imagined these questions arising at some point, I just did not realize how scary and testing these would truly be. It is becoming clearer to me that these are neither bad nor unique questions to ask, but they very much are creative traps that I am setting myself! How I choose to deal with these questions is where the answer lies. Part of me wants to run to the first secure 9 to 5 I can find just thinking about the prospect of what lies ahead, even though I know in my gut that’s the wrong move. It is about living what is true for me.
Creativity is a fragile thing, and that is why attempting to pay your bills through creative endeavors is a risk. With that said, is a big risk that comes with an even bigger reward. It comes with the reward of authenticity, which translates to power, which equates to living a life you can be proud of. What is becoming clear now is that when I was scared, it was all about me. It was all about: Are my ideas good enough that they can put food on the table? Also: Can I be consistent enough at this? How reliable is my creativity? I am at the center of all of these questions, and this is why thinking this way is the wrong mindset. If I am asking: How can I use my experience to inspire? Or if I think: What about this situation would make someone laugh? I feel much less rigid and more tolerant to mistakes, to have things not be perfect, and to screw up.
At the end of the day it is all about making mistakes, and having the self-love to laugh at yourself and use the mistake to your creative benefit. Put all of your energy into your art, into your creation, into your vision that you want to share with the world. The time you use to make art is sacred. Your mind is a tool to respect earnestly. Be diligent not to indulge in thoughts that spur from fear and doubt, as any itch to indulge either is an escape from what is happening in this very precious and fleeting moment, which is exactly where you need to BE, RIGHT NOW.
(P.S. Anyone trying to be creative in any way: I encourage you to reach out and share what has worked for you, road blocks you’ve experienced, dealing with vulnerability, and most importantly your ART!!)