I know this. But I forget.
There are mornings where I sit here, staring at the blank page and the blinking cursor, wondering, “why do I feel so blocked?”
As I was crawling into bed last night, I had a thought. Imagine your creativity as flowing through a pipe. The flow is infinite and never-ending, but sometimes the pipe gets blocked.
We’re scared of doing something badly. We’re scared that it won’t be good enough. We’re scared people won’t like it. We’re scared of it being messy, unclear, illogical, biased. We’re scared of it not being our best work. We’re scared that it won’t work.
We are constrained by the time we give ourselves to create. If there’s not much of it, we cannot relax because we know the clock is ticking. The pressure to produce poisons our minds. It forces us to think of producing in time, rather than thinking we have the time to produce.
We pound our minds with a barrage of information. Which means that when something usable does show up, we’re more likely to miss it. We let the noise build up because the noise is more comfortable than the alternative. But it is out of silence, stillness and clarity that our work is born.
How we unblock the pipe of creativity is dependent on individual preference. The tactics and specific manoeuvres are irrelevant. The most important thing is recognising the blockage and establishing what form it takes.
If it is fear, we must find a way to soothe it.
If it is impatience, we must bring our minds to focus on presence instead of productivity.
If it is noise, we must eliminate it.