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Hey Creative Entrepreneur!
I recently discovered a dear friend and longtime subscriber has succumbed to melanoma. I was not only stunned, but profoundly saddened, I felt as though my world suddenly felt a little less sparkly. While I know she’s in a better place, I also feel so incredibly sad whenever I think of a world without her.
She was somebody who continually challenged me, made me think a little deeper; I always felt like my view of the world became a little bit wider when I interacted with her. I decided to grapple with my grief in a constructive way and go through some of my correspondence with her.
It wasn’t long before I found a small plaque with one of her favorite prayers etched on it. I read it silently.
Then, I stumbled onto the phrase that totally blew me away; it completely unraveled another so-called complicated aspect of creative blocks.
Uff, BarbaraJo. You’re still challenging me from beyond the grave.
And that’s exactly what I discuss in today’s episode of Notes for Minnesota.
“Creative blocks don’t exist.” “Change your attitude.” “Just blast through your block.” I heard it all; every trite band aid solution to my very complex, creative block.
Truth was, a life changing medical challenge didn’t fill me with inspiration. It wasn’t a positive transformative experience, either.
Instead, I found myself navigating a crazy maze of emotions and head scratching moments. With each new blow, with every new reality, I realized I had a tangle of issues to unwind before I could resume my creative life. Perhaps you’re in the same boat.
If you’ve found yourself with a dream, a higher goal, but just can’t get started… this book’s for you. It’s for every dreamer, aspirerer, gentle soul who wants to achieve their life purpose, but can’t seem to get on the path.
Each short chapter contains a bit of my personal story, applications to your situation, as well as prompts to help you untangle your inability to get moving. You’ll also receive a unique set of tools in the Bonus Tool Chest in the final section. You can also download the official “Stuck” meditation.
My hope is that STUCK will give you everything you need to venture forth and create the life you know you were born to lead.
The Misunderstood Concept of Creative Blocks
One of my pet peeves is hanging out on Facebook and discovering a wannabe helpful person post over simplified meme implying that creative blocks are the result of laziness, the inability to buckle down, the wrong mindset, some sort of failure in the law of attraction, you name it, you’ll find a meme to disparage anybody who isn’t a highfalutin, content creating, word slinging beast.
Truth is, if you had asked me about creative blocks only a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have had that much trouble with those types of memes. Sure, I would have probably put a little thought into my answer, but those silly images never would have chapped my hide the same way they do today.
Truth is, as with most situations, creative blocks can fairly complex with solutions that take more than just a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality.
I should know. I dealt with a very stubborn creative block, one that lasted at least a couple years.
And no, I wasn’t lazy. I had no issues buckling down. I will agree that my mindset took a beating throughout my cancer adventure, but I know quite a few writers who not only produce copious works of art during their dark times, posting vivid stories on Facebook, guiding their readers throughout their entire treatment plan, but I wasn’t one of those people. If I were to do it over again, I still wouldn’t share that gruesome information.
The block I experienced was profound, dark, immovable… and one of the best things to have happened to my writing life.
It was something I needed to work through, every single moment, and it ultimately yielded knowledge that would forever change the trajectory of what I wanted to do with the rest of my career.
Rather than pound my way through, I discovered my creative block was best illustrated by a long stroll through the valley of the shadow of death. While those times were very dark, looking back I can see how that experience provided the fuel for everything I’m doing today.
My point? If you are currently suffering a creative block, I highly suggest you slow down and listen to what it’s trying to tell you. You don’t need to push it aside, that’s an impossible task anyway. You don’t need to blast through it, there is not enough mental TNT in the world to break something that’s designed to slow you down. You don’t need to compare your situation to a thoughtless meme posted by somebody who probably just wanted to create some engagement for their account.
If you’re experiencing a creative block, step away from the gazillion people doling out questionable advice. Listen to your own intuition. Work through the tangled threads contained inside the block. Journal.
Never underestimate the power of introspection, especially when you work in the creative fields.
And when many of your threads are untangled, go forth and create the most beautiful art.
Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I wrote a whole book on this topic. You can check it out here.
You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, market smart, repeat. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers, and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com