I’ve been having kind of a hard time, creativity-wise, lately, and it got a little too much yesterday. I had to shut down to figure things out and I’ve noticed how much it takes a toll on me when I am unable to bring myself to create something. I turn to art as a way to heal myself, as do most people I know, I’m sure. But that still doesn’t keep me safe from creative blocks every now and then. How does one deal with anything when their only coping mechanism fails them? Surely, there has got to be a way out, right?
I voiced my concerns about being a failure as an artist to my best friends and they told me a bunch of things that I think could help anybody who is going through a similar situation. I decided that it would be best to share them with you because it would be incredibly selfish of me to keep such wonderful advice all to myself.
My friend told me that there is no good or bad form of art if it’s helpful to me on an emotional level, because I’m doing it for myself. The effort that I put into my art is what brings me peace. He told me that whether people appreciate my art is not up to me- a fact that I, deep down, knew very well but my bummed-out brain wouldn’t allow me to process. I needed so badly to hear this today because I had been giving myself a really hard time over not being creative enough lately.
You see, when the rest of the world is constantly creating and moving on, you feel stuck in some way and it makes you feel like you’re not good enough. I know I keep telling people to take things at their own pace and not give in to what everybody else is doing out there, but I suck at taking my own advice sometimes. It happens. Moving on! Another friend of mine tried to drill this into my head, last night, as she tried to explain that just because I’m not coming up with something new every single day, doesn’t mean that I am any less of an artist. Another thing that I already knew, but my brain wouldn’t let me process on a bad day.
And yet another friend gave me homework and told me to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service, and I didn’t really understand why until I noticed the exchange between the protagonist and one of her friends. This is how it goes:
Ursula: Painting and magic seem to be similar. Sometimes, I can’t paint a thing.
Kiki: You mean it? Then what happens?
Ursula: At times like that, you know what I do? Paint. That gets rid of my frustrations… Then I just stop. Take long walks, look at the view, doze off at noon. Don’t do anything. Then suddenly, I can paint again… Trust me, it will happen.
And isn’t that what every person who feels stuck wants to hear? Isn’t that exactly what any of us who feel stuck are going through? You can love doing something with all of your heart and still feel stuck doing it sometimes. Those are things that can very well co-exist. We just need to keep reminding ourselves to not let ourselves be consumed too much. Nothing is ever worth losing all of yourself, no matter how much you want to believe it can be.
If you’re feeling stuck doing something, today, I hope you understand that it’s not because you’re a failure. We just need to remind ourselves, sometimes, that we’re more than just capable of and good at what we do. I hope you get to figure whatever block you’ve got going on.
You’ve got this.
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