Creativity expert Julia Cameron, writing in her creativity manual “The Artist’s Way”, notes that blocked creative types resort to an addictive cocktail of blocks: obsessions with work, food, alcohol, sex or love and more, in whatever form is handy to soothe us. These feel-good-for-the-moment behaviors are essentially creative U-turns made to alleviate fear.
Many Different Kinds of Creative Blocks
Blocked creative people tend to employ a selection of these self-numbing methods, be it work or food or whatever, and often mix and match them. If you stop to think about it, honestly, you know which one(s) you use occasionally and which is your personal go-to favorite. And, you probably can tell when you are about to do this to yourself, you know when you are about to make a creative U-turn in this way or are about to block.
Turn the Anxiety into Energy
Next time you begin to feel anxious about creating, next time you hesitate to take the next right step, instead of grabbing for the short-lived and temporary fix, Cameron suggests you try harnessing and riding the fear or anxiety to propel your creativity forward.
How would it feel to avoid the block and leave that inner emptiness of fear behind? How would it feel to take that energy and apply it to the next right step instead of staying stuck? Imagine the following scenario as Julia Cameron describes it in the tenth week of her creativity program and book, The Artist’s Way:
Try: using the anxiety!
Feel: I just did it! I didn’t block! I used the anxiety and moved ahead!
Oh my God, I am excited!”
You Need Courage and Kindness
Could you find the courage and compassion to stop the self-sabotage of blocking? Would the exhilaration and joy of creating be worth it to you? What then, is your next right step? What action can you take now, today?
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