Barriers to Creativity

Earlier this week I made a largely facetious post about things that kept me from doing the writing I claim I want to do. In turn, I was set in motion to thinking about the real barriers to my creativity. I want to write. I think about writing, drawing, painting and sculpting all the time.  Why am I just thinking about them, rather than actually doing them?

  • Laziness: Let’s just get this one out-of-the-way. Like all objects, when at rest I tend to stay at rest. It is far easier to skim through the App store on my iPad, looking for some great new game than it is to actually sit down and write.  I don’t even have to sit up to look at the App store. Don’t even get me started on how much easier it is to screw off on the internet than it is to dig out tubes of paint or cut steel to the right shapes before welding. It’s obvious. That being said, I have been known, on occasion to overcome laziness. For example, I have never missed an update for Vlad and we are only a month shy of three years old. That’s almost 500 comic strips drawn without fail. I have also “won” NaNoWriMo two years in a row.  Oh yeah, I graduated from college while working full-time, so there’s that too. In an effort to combat any laziness at work, I am forcing myself to write regularly, even if it just turns into writing these blog posts instead of my Sci-Fi masterpiece.
  • Fatigue: Not the same as Laziness, but strongly related. I work all day. I play with my daughter in the evening, cook, do whatever chores are needing to be done. Really, these things don’t tire me out, but a long day of staring at a monitor and writing (non-fun, non-fiction) for work robs a lot of the motivation to sit down and do it some more.  Just this week I went to the eye doctor for the first time in 24 years and it turns out I am developing a bit of astigmatism, which may be a contributing factor. My eyes literally ache and it is easy to excuse myself from spending too much time at the keyboard. Hopefully some prescription lenses will help. I also invested in a nice ergo keyboard this past month, and my tendons (ligaments?) are singing its praises.
  • Fear: I’m not afraid of much, as a kid I kicked a snake in the face and not just to be cruel, the bastard had it coming.  I will admit that I find heights a bit unnerving, particularly bridges, but I think what I am really afraid of is sucking. All my life I have received compliments, as I imagine many coddled American children do. You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re a great artist, and even you’re a great writer.  Like most though, I’m getting these compliments from friends and family. Not editors or gallery owners. Not that I need that, but as shallow as it might sound, I’d like it. That said, fear of not being accepted is not the fear I am concerned with.  No, I’m really just afraid of sucking. Not in the eyes of others, but in my own eyes. I’ve never successfully translated any image from my head to paper, nor fully realized a character or plot point.  All this leads me to hanging on to my ‘best’ ideas, with the hope that one day my skills will be sharpened in such a way that I will not fail in bringing these ideas into the world. There’s worlds in my head and I don’t want to fuck them up by making them wrong.  Not sure how to get over this one, besides to keep pushing, so I guess that is what I’ll do.

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