How Fear Keeps Me From Creating

Let's Get Real Here..

If you don't experience fear and insecurity in your creative life, then this article is NOT for you!  But, if you do then I want to share my thoughts on this issue. 

How Fear Keeps Me From Creating by Roben-Marie Smith

I go through stages where I am "high" on creativity and the ideas are flowing and I feel like a super star.  Ever been there?  Do you ever feel the flip side of that?  I relate it to that Taylor Swift song about never getting back with her boyfriend, only I hear this in my head:

You are never ever ever going to be creative again!

Seriously, I feel this way from time-to-time and have to remind myself each time (really?) that I always move through it and eventually the ideas came pouring out of me again.  I have to go through creative droughts in order to eventually reap a harvest.

I am sharing this because for weeks, I won't say how many because I would be embarrassed, about four to be exact, I have not been motivated to create.  It often happens after a creative high where I created something big and exciting.  It just so happens that my last workshop wrapped up about four weeks ago.  The studio has been a mess ever since and I have just used that as an excuse not to create.

"The studio is a mess and I can't find anything."
"I don't have time to clean it."

Fear and Creativity by Roben-Marie Smith
Fear and Creativity by Roben-Marie Smith

My heart wants to create but my mind is deceiving me.  It basically comes down to feeling like the last big thing I did, the thing I loved so much, will be the last creative home run I will ever have and that is a lie!

What Fear Tells You... (and Me)

•You don't have enough education.
•You don't really know what you're doing.
•You are an imposter and one day everyone will know.
•Your work doesn't look like the work of (insert name of artist here).
•You don't have enough supplies.
•You don't have time.
•You're not good enough and your work stinks!
...and the list goes on!

Fear and Creativity by Roben-Marie Smith

Making Choices

I decided that enough was enough and even if I created something did not like (I have a ginormous trash can) it would be okay.  This is the part where I tell you how I cleaned the studio and it did not take very long and I enjoyed a motivating podcast while I cleaned.  I put on my super hero art apron, lit a hickory and cedar candle sure to put me in the mood, took out my watercolors and sketchbook and whipped out the most amazing sketches anyone has ever seen.  Well, the part about the "studio getting cleaned" is true, but the sketches were not so good.  I say this because, it had been months since I touched my sketchbook.  I am crazy to think that with a little practice, I should excel at anything. 

Fear and Creativity by Roben-Marie Smith
Fear and Creativity by Roben-Marie Smith

When this happens, I get easily frustrated with my high expectations.  So, I shifted gears and decided to try some painting and collage; something I love doing.  The important thing is that I was doing something! As it turns out, I did create something super sweet; two things actually.  I hope to share those soon!  If you know me, you know I love sports so I share this quote with you from Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears coach.

Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal. - Mike Ditka

What's the Takeaway?

Keep in mind that you are not alone in how you feel and even that artist or person you admire struggles with self-doubt and insecurity. It is the moving through it time after time and not giving up that makes all the difference.

How do you push through fear?  What is your best tip to encourage other artists?

Have a  blessed day!