Aug 25, 2020
BY EDDY TAIT
I read an article recently which said the chaos of 2020 may be turning us into philosophers. Like many it seems, I too have spent a good amount of the past few months looking inwards and reflecting upon life and the world we live in. I have especially observed the complicated relationship I have with my creativity. The ways in which I hold myself back and the insecurities that arise when I want to and do create.
Spending time reflecting on this side of myself has helped me overcome some of these blocks and inspired new ways to approach my creativity. I am grateful for the change of pace this pandemic has created and the room it has made for personal reflection. Delving deep, discovering and recalibrating my relationship to creativity has been life-changing.
Here are five little epiphanies, thoughts or ideas I stumbled upon which have helped me overcome creative blocks. Push through self-doubt and untangle outdated opinions I had on my creative self-expression. I am sharing these in the hope to connect with you through our creative journeys. Perhaps you can relate to my experience and perhaps these lessons spark some inspiration for you and your creative expression.
1. Less input, more output.
Before social distancing came into place, I was one of those people who loved to go out. I associated being out, meeting friends, going to events and seeing shows with being ‘fun’. And those things definitely are fun. Though, as someone who loves to make things, I had an internal battle going on. I had a deep desire to create but felt compelled to not miss out on all the fun! I had many conversations with friends about how I wish I could make more time for my art. Somehow I couldn’t break the habit of spending that time out and about filling myself with more inspiration and distractions.
Since now spending more time at home I am creating more! And it’s been so fulfilling. For a few weeks there I was dreading things ‘turning back to normal’ because I didn’t want to return to that crazy busy and exhausting lifestyle. But after a few more weeks at this slower pace, I have come to peace with this idea. Knowing that inevitably, things will get busier as time goes on but that doesn’t mean that I can’t and won’t have time to create. That part is up to me!
2. Finishing a project feels good.
Like, really good! And I must say, having more time means that I have been able to finish many more projects than I would usually. It helps that I have been feeling inspired during this time. I know this hasn’t been the case for a lot of people out there.
It took me a good number of weeks to get into the groove myself. To stop procrastinating and take action with my ideas. I had to be patient and encourage the creativity to flow when it was ready. Now I am finding that each project I finish, makes way for a whole new idea to come through into fruition.
3. Slow motion multitasking.
Just like finishing a project is really rewarding, having multiple on the go is also working for me. One advantage is when I finish one project, I still have a few more backed up that I can work on while I make way to start something new. It’s like when you finish reading a great novel, you kind of feel lost if you don’t have another to pick up the next day. A disadvantage of this way of working is that multiple projects can prolong the satisfaction of finishing them. There is a kind of balancing act that happens here. Some projects I will work on solidly for a few days and finish and others I will have there for weeks. Maybe only picking it up during the weekends etc.
4. Make for self. Not to sell.
Since I was young, I’ve had this idea that what I make needs to be good enough to sell. It’s that age-old comment ‘You could sell that!’. It seems if we create something ‘good’ it immediately gets tied to making money. I spent a good few weeks mulling over this idea and re-thinking it through to help find my creative flow. And not be stopped by needing to sell my creations after. During this time, I’ve been viewing my creativity as a form of self-expression. Experimenting and creating for the sake of it. This has been really fun and inspiring. Maybe I will make these to sell in the future or maybe I will just keep them for me.
5. Create peace.
Even my boyfriend commented that I am more peaceful. Winding back my external input and focusing more on my creative output has made a real impact on me and the people around me. I feel much more balanced and happy. When an idea strikes, I welcome it rather than being frustrated that I won’t have (make) time to create it.
Has this pandemic brought you closer to your creative expression? Whatever you’re experiencing, I hope you find some time to create something for yourself this week or this month. See if it has a positive impact on you like it has for me.