Creativity connects us to our authenticity & that’s why we love to create. That blissful feeling is one of life’s most pleasurable experiences. In the creative moment we are free from inhibition & the energy flows like champagne through our veins. For this reason creativity is difficult to sustain because life gets in the way. We are busy juggling many different things which take us away from ourselves. Things go wrong, people become ill or upset us.
Whenever I feel blocked creatively I don’t try to force it, because it’s unsatisfying & doesn’t feel good. The whole point of creating is to connect with yourself, so it’s better to get yourself in the mood again first. Trying to force creativity is frustrating & counterproductive because you can’t create well when you’re not connected to universal energy. In fact creating when you’re not connected will drain you fast. Whenever you’re not happy with what you’re creating it’s natural to feel sub par, but not feeling good cuts you off from your creative genius. Prolonged disconnected gains momentum & you’re stuck in a downward spiral.
Some people struggle to start projects but love to finish them. I have the opposite challenge so it’s great to work with others on creative projects who love the bits you hate. Being able to concentrate on the parts you like means you are happier and delivering quality output more of the time. Focusing on your strengths is the best way to live & the most effective in teams.
One of the things I find frustrating is being drawn to one particular style, but that is often the nature of the beast because creativity comes from the heart. I love certain colour combinations & departure from them just doesn’t feel good. I have to ‘feel’ the colour & the ambience or it just doesn’t work for me, I’m very finely tuned that way, many creatives are. My emotions are the indicator about the standard of my work, ie. if it feels good it is perfect, or at least perfect for me. No one enjoys your creative work as much as you because it is a reflection of who you are in your purest form. It’s an external representation of how you feel inside. I like to renovate houses and rarely feel attached to them because I know the creativity is within me & I take it with me wherever I go. I never worry that each house won’t be as beautiful as the last, because I adapt my taste to the surroundings and aim to create the most beautiful outcome I can envisage. The essence is always the same anyway.
Creative problem solving is so much fun and I love the emotional manifestation as much as the tangible. Trying to convey my vision to others can be frustrating because they can’t see inside my head, but I just roll with it knowing they will see it in manifested form at some stage. Whenever I design for others I don’t get the same satisfaction, because they benefit from the good feeling instead. Although it is great when your work is admired & enjoyed, there’s no feeling like creating for yourself. That being said it is nice to create something for others & some people are better suited to this cause. I would rather create something for myself and find someone who likes it rather than create with an audience in mind.
Children are prolific creators because they are more connected to their true nature than adults. They have had fewer opportunities for rejection and people make allowances for children to learn & grow in a way not extended to adults. When you worry too much about pleasing others you lose connection to yourself because you are the person you’re predominantly meant to please with your creations. You will probably know that you do your best work when you create for yourself because there is no pressure to be anything other than who you are. Initially this can feel selfish, but if it creates your best work then so be it. Do you want the money & the fame or the intrinsic satisfaction? There will always be a downside to creative work but if you have enough momentum and energy you can overcome the little things you don’t like.
I’m an early bird & most energetic first thing in the morning. One important thing to factor into creating is to work to your own schedule where possible. I love to take a nap when I feel tired or go for a walk. Listening to your body is necessary for a happy life.
Fear of rejection is a major hindrance to design because creativity is a reflection of your inner world, so rejection of one’s creative work is experienced as a rejection of self. Performance anxiety takes the joy out of the creative process, but you can’t expand your comfort zone without challenging yourself. Besides staying the same & never evolving is painful in itself. Not everyone is going to like what you create and accepting that is important. You may glean some constructive feedback though if you’re open to it. Often you only need one buyer, especially if what you’re creating is exclusive, but otherwise it’s helpful to create thicker skin & not take things personally.
So the secret to overcoming creative block is to do what makes you happy because then your best work will come. Following your own schedule and working on projects you originate & have enthusiasm for is key. If you can think of the creative process as play you will have more fun & come up with a wider variety of ideas. Working with others is a great way to bounce ideas around & outsource parts you don’t like.