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The Aftermath

Sparkles falling to the ground to illustrate the aftermath of the creative process.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Creative Unblocking: Bypass Self-Doubt, Tap Your Genius, and Complete Your Best Work, released on August 1st, 2017. It pretty well sums up where I am at the moment.

Creating our best work often requires a lot of energy, and, as satisfying as it is, it can leave us feeling depleted and raw.

If we share our work with people other than our mothers, there’s a good chance some of them won’t like it. Whatever the reaction, even if it’s mostly positive, releasing art can sometimes feel like running through a hailstorm.

I say this not to discourage you, but to let you know that, if and when it happens, it’s normal, and it doesn’t mean you suck. It happens to the best of us. There’s a reason Margaret Atwood recommends writers develop a thick skin. Mine is, unfortunately, still a bit thin, but by employing the strength-building tactics I mentioned in chapter 5, I keep myself from bruising too much, most of the time.

Self-care and self-kindness are especially important around the time of a work’s release, launch, or performance. If you can, sleep a lot. Get lots of gentle exercise and vitamins. Drink relaxing herbal teas. Surround yourself with people who think you’re amazing. Book a massage or wheedle one from a friend. Do whatever will make you feel healthy and calm, because you’ve come a long way, you’ve done something brave, and you need to replenish yourself to do it again.

You deserve to be rewarded and celebrated. You gave what you had, and even if it only touched a few people, even if your audience was an empty room, what you did mattered, because, if only for a moment, it lit you up in a way you’d never have lit up otherwise, and every person you met while in that state was lit by that same fire.

Featured image: photo by tomertu, Adobe Stock.

PS: If you’d like a sneak peek at the intro and first chapters, subscribe for free to my “no spam” email list. You’ll get fresh inspiration and creative insights delivered monthly(ish) to your inbox.

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