Dangers of the Trail and Workaholism presented more information on blocks and how we use them. Food, alcohol, drugs, work can all be used to further block ourselves. I can relate to using food and work as “excuses” or “blocks” to writing. More than once I have turned to food trying to escape from creation. Junk food clogs the brain, makes the gears turn more slowly if not stop altogether. Work is an easy escape. There’s always more work to do and if you can’t find any, a creative person can easily invent more.
Why make these excuses or use these blocks? As petty and insane as it sounds, if I actually create something I might have to show someone and face possible rejection or ridicule. While I know I can’t please everyone, one rejection holds more weight than ten approvals. It’s something many creatives suffer from. I know I’m not alone, but it feels very lonely. It’s hard not to take rejection personally, especially at first.
Creative droughts were discussed this week. I’ve gone through my fair share and I completely agree with the author that they do end. If you do nothing during the drought, it does take longer for the ideas to flow again like water.
Some suggestions to keep going –
- like The Artist’s Way suggests, do your morning pages (brain dump) every day. Keep writing something.
- Write something completely different. If you write horror books, write a children’s tale. Allow it to suck.
- Do something else creative: paint, draw, take photos.
- Partake of other’s creativity: visit an art museum, read a book, watch an indie movie, go to a musical/opera/play, find a new and interesting indie musician online.
- Talk to another creative. They often have stories about their own droughts and how they moved on.
Competition was another topic for the week. I’ve watched more than one friend, associate, acquaintance fly by me at the speed of light accomplishing more in a short period of time than I have in years. I’ve been jealous more times than I care to admit. That jealousy has caused me to waste more time and energy causing me to delay my own goals. Jealousy can be crippling and isn’t worth wasting time over. It’s easy to say, “Be happy for them and get back to your own work,” but actually doing it can be hard. When you start to get jealous, use that emotion to egg you on instead of letting it block you. “If they can do it, so can I!” Again, easier said than done, but worth a try.