How to Move Through Creative Anxiety

Pretty much the only way I have found to move through creative anxiety is to actually do the creative thing.

You can watch tutorials, read books and mentally prepare yourself until the cows come home. But the anxiety and fear around doing the thing won’t go away until you actually do the thing.

Theory will never replace the action. Trying to think and rationalize your way out of the fear likely won’t weaken the fear, it will make it stronger.

There is no preparation you can do that will lessen the discomfort of actually doing the uncomfortable thing.

You will get stuck for ideas. You will come up against your fears of being inadequate. Your inner critic will do their best to discourage you. You will make mistakes. You will make art that you hate.

The blank page will never stop being a scary unknown place where your primitive brain imagines invisible tigers.

It will all happen. It will be uncomfortable. It will hurt.

And the only way out is through. Trying to escape the pain by not making art will only allow your anxiety to grow and whittle away at your soul. The longer you put off the confrontation, the harder it will be to get started.

Action cures fear.

Doing the thing you are anxious about and doing it again and again and again weakens your inner critic by proving it wrong.

“You are inadequate.” “I showed up anyway.”

“Your art sucks.” “I’m making art anyway.”

“You’ll never be good enough.” “But I’m still here.”

Drawing by drawing you prove your anxiety wrong.

Drawing by drawing you choose self-kindness and gentleness over self-flagellation and hate.

Drawing by drawing you face that hidden fear that is eating away at you.

It’s the only way to get rid of it. The only way out is through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *