As you all know by now, I do a lot of creating. Whether I am writing, making music, painting, drawing, animating, or building things with my children, I try to squeeze in as much creation time as possible! While I love this, I know it is not for everyone. I will let you in on a little secret; sometimes it’s hard! I say this with all honesty, not only can it be hard, it can feel downright impossible! That said a friend of mine once shared a simple yet vastly important piece of information with me.
“Painters paint, writers write.”
While this seams basic, and is by no means a revelation, it struck a chord with me, and it was the unsaid words that made the largest impact. It was not the simple statement, and the obvious observation; it was the unstated fact that practice makes perfect, creating takes time, and mistakes not only happen, but also are essential to the learning and growing process!
So what does this all mean?
Sometimes we get stuck. And sometimes we get really stuck!
How many times have you been working with a student, your child, or even just trying to motivate yourself, when that dreaded thing called “doubt” crept in. How often have you heard, or uttered the words “I can’t do this”, “Its too hard”, or “I don’t have it in me today”? While these are all very real, and sometimes perfectly acceptable feelings, we can work through them. Remember “painters paint, writers write”. This doesn’t mean that everything they paint is a masterpiece, or everything they write is going to be the next most important piece of literature; what it means is that you push through and you create anyway. For every successful, well-made piece, I can guarantee you that there is a pile of discarded work.
I am going to go out on a limb and make a statement:
That pile is at least as important, if not more important, than the successful piece.
Without that pile, we wouldn’t have learned valuable lessons, we wouldn’t have made mistakes, and we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to explore. There is nothing wrong with failing, as long as we learn from our mistakes, develop new methods, and become more motivated to succeed.
To help you out, I have come up with 3 tips to help get you and your students around the dreaded creative block.
1) Make something! I know, I know! We are talking about what we can do when we feel like we can’t make anything. When I say make something, I mean just that. This doesn’t have to be good; it just has to be something! Take out a piece of paper and doodle, sketch, write down words, just create. A lot of times this helps me work through whatever I was struggling with, and helps me refocus on the project at hand.
2) Get up and walk away. Sometimes you need to separate yourself from the project at hand, and do something completely different. That said, remember to return! We are trying to work through things, not ignore them.
3) Laugh. No really… find something or someone funny, and laugh! Lighten up the situation, put a smile on your face, and enjoy the moment. Every once and awhile it is important to take it down a notch, remember that this is supposed to be fun, and just laugh.
So now its your turn! Tell us what you think, tell us what works for you, leave a comment and share your creative process.
Do what you love, and do it often.