I've been chewing on this topic for the last few days. Creative blocks. I'm currently experiencing one in the worst way! I haven't been able to create the art I want to eventually make available on Etsy. I've been making art for friends and for events, but not the work I need to do for myself to further my career. I can't remember the last time I recorded a piece of music. Or wrote a new song. And you'll never believe how long I procrastinated just to compose this very post.
Creativity takes courage.
- Henri Matisse
Are you in the same boat? Do you ever avoid what you most want to accomplish? For me, it stems from the fear of not living up to my own expectations. Creatives tend to be perfectionists. And the more important something is to us, the more likely we are to resist it. I like to call it - perfectionism paralysis. When high expectations of a successful outcome keep you from creating it in the first place. When you DO find the courage to begin, self-doubt robs you of any enjoyment of the creative process.
There are two kinds of perfect: The one you can never achieve, and the other, by just being yourself.
- Lauren King
There's an incredibly inspiring TED Talk by multimedia artist, Phil Hansen, who developed nerve damage and could no longer control his dominant hand from shaking. He quit art all together. Years passed until he finally figured out a way to put his unsteady hand to good use. By accepting his limitations, he was able to come up with genius works of art that never would have been possible had he not "embraced the shake". The ultimate limitation became his ultimate liberation.
So instead of seeing our creative blocks as stop sign, maybe we should view them as flashing green lights. To remind us to keep moving forward. To go, and let go, of expectations, outcomes or failures. If we free ourselves from perfection, if we release the pressure to do great work, if we allow ourselves to be unencumbered by results.... our blocks can be broken. Which is, in a way, the most creative thing we can do.
If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
- Pablo Picasso
Do you experience creative blocks? How do you break through them? Tell me in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.