What if you Don’t Quit on the Bad Days?

Creativity is often sold to us as this wonderful, magical thing that is supposed to flow out of you with ease because you love doing it so much, and there seems to be a lot of people under the impression that if this is not the case for you, then you are somehow “doing creativity wrong” and you might as well not bother.

Reality check – this is not what my experience of creativity has looked like, pretty much ever.

Creativity is a form of problem solving and that can be frustrating.

Creativity means facing uncertainty in the form of the blank page, and to our primitive brain the uncertain is terrifying – because tigers.

Creativity means learning and growing and if you consider a child learning to walk you’ll see that learning and growing as an artist comes with the creative equivalent of frustration, bruised knees and falling flat on your face. A lot.

And that’s okay. There is a romanticized version of creativity that is oversold to us but rarely seen in reality. We stand in awe of the finished work, not realizing the sweat and blood that has been poured into a craft for many years for the artist to get to this level.

When you create regularly, you will inevitably hit a wall. You may hit it in every piece you create, you may go through weeks of blissful creating, but at some stage, you will hit the wall, and it will hurt. Sometimes you hit the wall over and over again for days or weeks or months and that’s what a lot of us call artist’s block. And that still doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong, it just happens. It’s annoying, frustrating and totally, totally normal.

It’s how you deal with those difficult moments that matters. Do you gently calm the temper tantrum of your brain and keep going or throw in the towel and decide you’re obviously just not creative enough? Do you push yourself to the edge of your endurance a couple more times to see how much more you can actually give or do you immediately fold and Netflix binge instead? Do you show up even when you don’t feel like it and do your work, or do you buy into the myth that you have to be inspired or motivated to create and put off that day until someday never, because if you don’t use your creativity it just withers away.

People don’t quit during good times. They quit when things get hard. What if you decided to just not quit on those bad days? What might be possible if you just kept showing up?

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