I’ve wanted to tell stories since I was old enough to read, but like many people, as I grew up I learned to doubt myself. “You’ll never write anything good,” the voice in my head sneered, “and if by some miracle you ever manage to publish, you’ll be a joke.” It doesn’t say that anymore.
A few weeks ago, while working on my novel, I got stuck.
I’d come up with a story-within-my-story to explain my shapeshifters’ origins. It was interesting and clever, but it explained nothing. Also, the chronology was all messed up.
My struggles left me wondering if I was a fraud. Aren’t I supposed to be an expert on creative blocks? How could I be having one?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” – Henry Ford.
“Believe in yourself, and you can do anything.” – Every Motivational Speaker Who Ever Lived. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found such quotes discouraging … Photo by Ryan McGuire.
Since releasing my book on August 1st, 2017, I’ve been struggling with two conflicting impulses: the desire to connect it with people it might help, and the desire to be still. Photo from the “Studio 1” collection, Death to the Stock Photo.
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. Photo by tomertu, Adobe Stock.
On a bright day in late June, I sat in a vacant classroom at the school my mom founded and wondered why I was feeling stagnant. I was working smart, so why was my momentum flagging? Surrounded by the bold drawings of children, I stared at my laptop and saw task after task I’d rescheduled repeatedly. They all had one thing in common: they scared me. Photo: Death to Stock.
Creative work is work. It takes time and effort, and those of us who want to devote as much time to it as possible still have to eat and house ourselves, which means that, as much as we might also work for love and fun, we do need to make money. Photo: Death to Stock
A guest post by Celeste Lovick: “When you love someone, you cannot be afraid of them. The most important thing as a performer is not what the audience thinks of you. It is what you feel about your audience.” Photo by Seth Doyle.
“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.