|Creative Development for Artists, Writers and all Artistic Creativity|
Everyone knows the term ‘writers’ block’ and perhaps to a lesser extent ‘artists’ block’. I guess you might have suffered it yourself on occasion. The trouble with these terms, for me, is the cliched images they conjure up: some lone writer, hands on keyboard and ready to produce their masterpiece. Or the artist pacing to and fro trying to force something to happen.
We’re talking creative constipation here – it’s in there but just won’t come out. (I feel a toilet theme approaching. Sincere apologies if I give in to it)
Now I’m not denying that writers’ and artists’ block of this kind happens and can cause much anguish. But it’s not helpful to think of it in such simple terms, because when it comes to things that stop us doing the creative things we want to do, there’s a marvellous variety for us to choose from. These blockages are often artistic concerns – but they’re also often just to do with life. Well… whichever – we like variety and given half a chance we’ll make full use of the lot of them.
In fact we can be infinitely creative in our choice of creative blockages. In this post I’m going to list the most obvious. As I add future posts I’ll look at ways we can get the better of the blockages and truly release your creative energies. But self awareness is always the best first step, so here we go.
Creative Blockages – an incomplete list
Clarity – lack of
This is a huge one and I’ll spend a lot of time on this in future posts. Lack of clarity comes in various forms and most of them are damaging. Now before I get loads of mail about this, I said most, not all. I do recognise that there are times that a certain lack of clarity is actually the wellspring of creativity.
But lack of understanding of what your art is about, or what you goals are, or how you work best can all impede creative quality and productivity. It’s a vision thing.
I’m not sure you can be too creative. But it can certainly bring problems if you never get to explore one great idea because you get distracted with the next one, and the one after that. Face it – if you want success, you may never explore all your great ideas.
There are lots of reasons why we deny ourselves permission to follow our creative instincts fully. It can seem frivolous, selfish, childish, indulgent – the list could go on for ever. Simply giving yourself permission to be any or all of these can make a spectacular difference.
Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of goals – I’ve seen this a few times, but figuring out which kind of goals scare you and which set you on fire is the key here. Fear of ridicule. Fear of peer judgement. I could go on.
This is about perception – how we perceive ourselves, our place in the world and the way the world treats us. Our negative perceptions blind us to opportunities and lead us to self-sabotage. They can make us feel like a victim or deny the talent that everyone sees but ourselves.
Negative beliefs can finish us – but you can swap them for positive ones if you want. I can think of no reason whatever why you’d want to keep them.
Other people put pressure on you. They may not share your vision or support you. They may have other plans for your time. You may feel intimidated by their success – creative or otherwise.
You can be surrounded by loving, supportive friends and family, yet still feel isolated if they don’t understand your creativity or artistic direction. Finding like-minded people is liberating.
Life in all its glory and excitement and all its pressure and drudgery. If the life you live is a barrier to the creativity you’re bursting to express, then managing, planning and compromising could be the answer. It’s amazing sometimes how tiny changes can have wonderfully positive outcomes.
The key message here is that you should become aware of the size and nature of your creative blockages. Doing so may feel daunting, but it’s the first step to towards beating them. And just think of the work you’ll get done once you have.
Want to add other categories of blockage to the list? Your comments are welcome.