What's Your Creativity Story?
Updated: Feb 21
What personal creativity myth are you lugging around?
‘I can’t draw’ (write, sing etc) is a good one. Surprisingly, perhaps, ‘I’m good at art’ is another story which can be just as debilitating. Being ‘good’ carries an expectation, a responsibility and reputation to maintain, not a happy load for the creative child within. Being ‘good’ at art, means you have to keep on being ‘good’, whatever that means! Help! How do I do that?’ Your inner creative child may know exactly what to do, but you daren’t let go and take a risk!
‘I don’t have time for creativity’ is yet another one, or ‘I like to be creative but I’m not really very talented,’ by which people often mean, ‘I’m not good enough to make a living out of it’. We visit huge and heavy judgment on our art, we burden it with being ‘successful’ - even with supporting us and we end up jealous and resentful when we see other, braver, souls, get ‘out there.’ sharing their artistic journey. How dare they enjoy easy confidence and success when we can’t seem to? A little voice tells us it’s so ‘wannabe’ to do that and we judge both ourselves and the other for this wish. We stay stuck.
All of this can produce immense frustration. Our creativity story can begin to feel like a burden: the term ‘failed artist’ is a scary label. We set the bar impossibly high and, as a result our talent and deep desire to create feels more like a burden or wound than a gift.
Maybe it is time to change the story?
To do this we need to start way, way back. We need to wake up to the negative stories we tell ourselves and change them around. A potent way to do this is to look at our very beginnings as individuals, and as human beings. The earliest evidence of our ancestors on this earth, dating back to before 40,000 BC is art – and these people knew about art! We ourselves are unique creations, never seen before, and never to be repeated. Our own childhood play is deeply creative. Even if we lose our way as adults sometimes, there is nothing more creative than failing, falling, crashing down! It breaks up our calcified ego and lets the waters flow again, clearing the way for a fresh approach, one where we don’t know all the answers. Our ego might take failing dramatically hard, but the creative inner child is suddenly free once more to play.
It all depends on how you look at things, and the stories we tell ourselves are a crucial part of this.
No matter what you tell yourself, you are in fact a talented, gifted, unique human being. You may not fit into whatever mould you feel you ought to. You may wish you could paint like so-and-so or write like so-and-so. But if that were the case, then who would paint or write like you? You may have much to learn but isn’t that what we are here for? Instead of berating yourself for not being quite there can you simply appreciate your journey, letting go of preconceived outcomes? Can you allow yourself to be that unique being who has never been seen before and is never to be repeated?
I’ll be running a workshop at Hawkwood on 1st April 2023 to help you connect with your creative origins and roots and find your deep originality. We’ll invite the April Fool in to help us stay light and foolish enough to try things out. We’ll remember our deeply creative ancestry and claim a little of it for ourselves.
In the meantime, my own creativity journey continues to surprise me! My impossible standards and self-flagellation of yesteryear were left behind when I couldn’t make things work out as I wished. My failure and soul searching taught me that there was no way I would ever fit in with the external standards I wanted. My creative child came out to play and it’s very welcome .
My latest creative project is working with a bunch of talented writers and actors to imagine a feculent mediaeval world full of humour and horror, for a play in March. Who’d’a’thought….? (some of my pics are in my newlsetter - including the image for this blog)