“Lack of time” is a common excuse for avoiding creative projects.
While our schedules are often scapegoats for the real problem (crippling self-doubt), it’s also true that many of us are too tired and overwhelmed most of the time to do the work that calls to us most deeply.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
A few days before I returned to Canada after a 9-month trip through Albania, Greece, Nepal, India, Georgia, and England, I had a panic attack.
What if I’d never make a living as a writer? I’d have to go back to waitressing, and I’d probably end up serving all the people who hated me in high school. They’d snicker and complain about the food.
Jealousy of other people’s beautiful words soured one of the truest and deepest loves I’d ever known. Photo by Dmytro Sandratskyi, Adobe Stock.
For the first month after starting my blog, I didn’t ask for feedback from anyone. The spectres of past critics kept drifting through my mind, and their words made me want to crawl into a shell. Featured image: “The American School,” oil on canvas by Matthew Pratt, 1765. From The Met public domain collection.
There’s a thing you want to make. It’s beautiful. It touches people. It makes life hurt a little less. It illuminates something, both for you and for your audience. It makes the world a smidgen better. From the deepest place inside you, this thing calls out for you to make it. Yet. Photo by vladsogodel, Adobe Stock
If we don’t release anything, no one will see how imperfect we are at the thing we want to accomplish. No one will laugh at us. No one will reject us. We’ll be safe.
Except that we won’t. Photo by Kevin Urbanski.
Artists are often solitary creatures, but without connections to other creatives, we risk drowning in our own mental swamps. Photo: “EXOTIC”, © everettovrk, Adobe Stock.
Before I left Vancouver, I took lessons in exotic and lyrical pole dance several times a week for fun and fitness. When I first saw people doing moves like “fallen angel” (in which a dancer hangs upside down from the pole with one leg, no hands), I thought, Uh-uh. No way. I’ll smoosh my skull like a watermelon. Photo: “Pole dancing instructor working”, © AntonioDiaz, Adobe Stock.
An artist who believes he’s an artist develops the confidence to do his art. In order to believe he’s an artist, though, he needs to relinquish certain misconceptions. Photo: “Man eat a guitar” by imacture, Adobe Stock.
You know all those depressing articles about how men and women have such a terrible time these days because, geologically speaking, it’s only a heartbeat since we were cave people? Our fear of being creative is related to that. Photo by Victor Zastol’skiy, Adobe Stock.