Day 3: When Creating Fails

The moment sits heavily on ones chest. There in front of you may be a blank page, a person, an audience, an empty canvas. They sit and they wait for the moment when your mouth opens or your fingers begin to move. Yet we stare blankly and our hands do not move. Our mind puts away the important stories we know are within us and we are forced to sit and watch as our words fail.

As creative individuals, we contain so many thousands of stories just waiting for them to be unleashed on the world. Whether through writing, photography, painting, dancing, etc. we all have words to share. However, there are times in our lives when we see these words fail us.

We desire to tell and to create something meaningful, it is a desire deep within our heart. The stories are there and there is meaning inside waiting to be released into the world. Yet there are dry times when nothing comes. Our minds are like mush swallowing the potentially inspiring words before they can escape our lips and the frustration surges.

Striving to create during this time is like walking uphill whilst pushing a trillion ton rock in front of us. The task seems impossible, everything we creative feels useless or redundant. What we create has already been done before or falls below expectations in our own eyes. It is not that the work is bad, it just is not right. And sometimes that is worse than creating something that is bad.

How many of us can say we have been here before?

Currently, I could easily say I have found myself in this position. Day 3 of my 366 day project and I was already struggling to find something to say in my blog post. Everything I started writing seemed to be something I had already spoken about a thousand times before. The words came occasionally but when they did I was uninterested in their shallow meaning. I longed to write something profound yet could not get past the first sentence.

There is hardly an easy way around this creativity block. We stew over our work for hours and still nothing comes. Or worse it could last for days, maybe even weeks. We are caught in this slump of disinterest in anything and everything we create simply because it falls below some intangible expectation.

Let me be the first to tell you that this is not the end. You, nor I, will not reside in this place of frustration and lack of creation forever. It is a period of time in which we must learn from. What is our mind trying to tell us? If we cannot create for some reason and get frustrated because of it, surely there is a reason why?

When we discover ourselves facing this time of creative failing, step back and adjust your view of the situation. What might be causing the frustration? Think about this while walking away from what you are trying to work on.

Often times when we find these dry patches it is because we are trying to force something to come out. When we force the words, photos, etc. to flow they will not come easily. They may eventually come, such as the case with this post, but it takes a lot of frustration in order for any to come. Sometimes we just need a break. A period of time, for however long, where we simply step away without forcing anything and explore. Read something. Go for a walk. Sit in the corner of a room and think. Getting away can be the best cure for these period of no creativity.

Our mind is telling us something. We are overloaded, there’s too much going on, whatever it may be sometimes the best option is to get away from it.

An incredible thing happens. When we come back more often than not the words flow, the picture makes sense, and the creativity is humming. It might be the same thing we were trying to work on before hand, but the frustration is gone. That’s because taking a break revives the mind and clears it from the stress of pressure.

So next time you find your creativity failing and the frustration rising, take a step away and see where your mind wanders when there is no pressure.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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