NOTE: This is part 1 of a 4-part series on creativity. You can read part 2 here , part 3 here, and part 4 here.
The first six months/year/two years of your creating were like being a rocket in full launch. Everything you experienced – from your first sight of the wild Mojave desert to a gum wrapper in a London gutter – inspired you. Even if you were a beginner in your art/craft, the words, the pictures, the videos seemed to emerge from you naturally. You felt like you were in the best kind of being in love – and you were!
Now, somewhere down the line, you are stuck. Blocking may have happened slowly, a day, a few days gone by when somehow you couldn’t find time or heart to sit down with creating and suddenly half a year had gone by since you had made something. Or you may have found yourself suddenly without inspiration. The desert had gone drab and lifeless. The gum wrapper is just a soggy piece of paper and not the beginning of a sad and wonderful love story.
We begin to wonder if we had imagined the wonderful feeling of being plugged into a live wire of creation. Maybe we’ve even read this line from poet/novelist Marge Piercy: The real writer writes… And we fear that if we are not creating, we are not a real writer, photographer, filmmaker. I’ve never met a creative who hasn’t gone through this.
There are near-infinite reasons why any of us find ourselves blocked. And there are nearly as many ways to break through what can feel like the end of our deepest dreams for ourselves. Part 2 of this series will take a look at how our childhood and teen experiences can either encourage or stomp on our creativity. Old messages can have much power in our adult lives.
In Part 3 we’ll explore how we sabotage our work – and how our modern busy busy world helps us do just that. Finally, in Part 4 I’ll give you tricks, challenges and exercises to help you come back to your dreams of writing, photographing and filming. That, of course, comes with a user warning: the tricks, challenges and exercises will only work if you work them. As you may have learned when you first began creating, the magic lies in taking action.
Feel free to respond to this post with any questions you have about being blocked – and any suggestions to help others in your creators community.