Over the past several weeks, I've been studying creativity, reading and reviewing a stack of books and continually discovering more resources. In the past several days, I've struggled to distill this creative wisdom into a blog post or two. Frankly, I've found myself stuck. Bewildered with myriad topic tangents. Blocked.
Photo by Jack Delano courtesy of the Library of Congress
And so I have avoided the topic completely. I have avoided trying to write. I have ignored my own recent advice.
Most of the creative experts I've been reading have discussed the issue of "being blocked," and many have talked about the significant role fear plays in blocking creativity. Both Linda Schierse Leonard, PhD (in The Call to Create) and writer Mari Messer (in Pencil Dancing) advise blocked creatives to identify and face their fears.
Identifying My Fears, Owning Them & Acting Anyway
Let me be honest about my biggest creative fears: Alongside my fear of imperfection and criticism stands a large but timid fear of writing my own words without significantly backing them up with credible sources.
This very post is dragging me out of my comfort zone in that regard. A couple other recent posts (this "Stop Stalling" post and this "Start Blogging" post) have done likewise. (And this older post on meditating was especially scary for me.) Before I started posting my 52 Birds, I admitted in my journal: I’m afraid to begin and I’m afraid to be public about my plan.
In The War of Art, historical novelist Steven Pressfield writes that those who beat Resistance (and "Resistance is fear," he writes), act in the face of fear, recognizing that "fear can never be overcome." By writing and publishing these posts, I act in the face of my fears. I see my fears hunched like Wild Things beside me, and I hit the publish button anyway.
With that, I invite you to join me. What are your fears? What's holding you back from following your dreams or being the best YOU you can be? And how will you chose to act even with those fears sitting next to you? Share here in a comment or connect with me via twitter.