Creativity is both.
“The triumphs, anxiety, joy, pain, wrapped together. They don’t live without one another. It was hard. And it was good. Focus on the PROCESS of becoming great at what you do and everything else will fall into place.” @Ayodeji Awosika
Creating an artistic work can be an exciting and terrifying experience.
It’s exciting to come up with a new idea — something that has never been brought into the world before.
It’s a life-affirming feeling that can’t be described to a non-creator.
It’s also scary because your creation may not work out.
It may totally fall on its face.
It may fail.
No, it’s likely that it WILL fail…
says one of my favorite authors Brene Brown.
Shit. Is that terrifying?
That your creative idea is LIKELY to fail?
My boyfriend, Bob comes from a line of engineers in his family. His dad worked for IBM. He was one of the engineers who helped create the ‘Post-It’ note.
Failures were just stepping stones to him.
When I first met Bob in 1997 I was in a deep dark depressed state of mind. I had just gotten home from South Africa, after my husband at the time tried to kill me, stole all my money and left me there alone.
I was feeling dark and almost lifeless.
At the time though, I was feverishly and almost obsessively creating these 3-dimensional ‘art cards’. Now that I look back on it visual art was SAVING ME. It was the one thing, besides writing in my journal that felt like LIFE in the midst of the darkness.
These first efforts at creating ‘art cards’ were not good. They were sorta crappy to be honest, now that I think about them!.
But, Bob saw the ‘potential’ in them. He reminded me that every time I did a shitty one that was fine.
“Just ‘throw it on the shitty pile and move on”.
He never judged those early shitty efforts. He KNEW it was part of the creative ‘process’.
To me it was terrifying.
To him it was exciting.
He reminded me of Thomas Edison or Colonel Sanders or anyone who EVER made a scientific discovery. They ALWAYS had a pile of rejects — stuff that didn’t work!
So I learned that FAILURE was a PART OF THE PROCESS of creating anything!
Honestly, more than avoiding failure I am motivated by the work itself now.
I am motivated by my 80-year-old self sitting in my library full of books, surrounded by books (mine and others), rocking in my chair, happily writing away on some new topic that I am curious about.
I will feel pride. Pride in my SELF for going for it.
— and for staying true to my vision.
When I reminisce on all of it I will see thatall the creative failures mixed with the triumphs are what made it what it was.
So, even though creativity is damn terrifying…it is also what makes life worth living and that is exciting!
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