In her tremendously supportive book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron explores many issues of importance to blocked creatives. One of the first is dealing with negative stereotypes about creative people.
Negative Stereotypes of Creative People
Now whether you are aware of this or not, you have probably internalized some negative beliefs about artists, musicians, writers, actors and creative work if for no other reason than you have heard them over and over from other people. You might even believe in some of these deep down inside, whether you admit it or not.
Think about it. How many times have you heard that creative people tend to be insane, or alcoholic, or drug addled, or penniless, or irresponsible, or out of control? I’m sure you can add to this list with no more help from me. Have you been discouraged by a friend or family member or teacher or neighbor or the media or in some way been lead to believe or at least suspect that following a creative path would land you in the same sorry boat?
Self Preservation Leads to Creative Blocking
So eventually a rational person with a creative bent might decide they really do not want to be connected to such negative behaviors, do not want to be guilty by association, do not want to risk living such an ill-fated life. So these negative beliefs lead to a creative block — because the only way to protect yourself from taking on those undesirable qualities is by not being creative! It’s clearly a matter of self defense!
Awareness is Power
How can you counter this kind of negativity surrounding creative people and creative pursuits? First, you become aware of those stereotypes and realize the effect they have on you. Then you realize they do not apply to all artists or all creative people.
Remind yourself that there are many artists who are healthy, who are sane, who are comfortably well off financially, who are hard working and productive, who are upstanding responsible citizens and solid family members. You also know that there are positive aspects of a creative life, including the joy of working at something you are passionate about and enjoy.
Calm the Fear, Stop the Creative Block
Once you begin to think of more positive examples of being an artist or living a creative life, it becomes more enticing to want to join in. This allows your fear to begin to subside. This begins to loosen that protective block.
Is this something you could mull over in your morning pages?
Get more Artist’s Way information and inspiration at Reptitude!
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