Are you proving or creating?

I began this blogging adventure with the naive belief that if I did it regularly enough, writing would become easy.

Rookie mistake.

Apparently that’s not how magical things like creativity work. You can become better at technical details like the discipline of sitting down and doing it. But my romantic idea that as long as I could master the art of sitting in front of a piece of paper, awe inspiring words would glide effortlessly onto the page like flowing molasses, was wrong.

Why does something as simple as writing a few paragraphs feel exciting and joyful one minute and like wading through treacle the next? Why does it sometimes feel like setting yourself free and sometimes like being held captive in creativity jail?

Oh… maybe that’s what it is! A hostage situation…

Making things feels like hard work when you’re using them to prove yourself… to convince someone else that you’re right or worthy or clever or interesting. When you’re holding yourself hostage to ‘other people’s judgement (or what you assume they’ll think).

I’m doing it right now with this post (dammit!).

The same task feels effortless when you’re not in the slightest bit concerned about proving anything to anyone… when you’re playing, creating, messing around, trying on different parts of your personality, having fun.

So maybe the magic of joyful, effortless creativity is the ability to bust out of “what I think other people will think” prison. Maybe the effort doesn’t come from creating but from trying so hard to prove that you should be allowed to.

Maybe forget trying to prove that you’re worthy and just make stuff. Show up in all your weirdness. Make stuff that matters to you, that you like, that you find beautiful. Put it out there. Then get on with your day.

Easy peasy!

Photo by Jakob on

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