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The Curse of the Creative (An in real time journal entry)

As I left a call with a loved and cherished friend, I knew I needed to just write, to just write without judging myself and to simply share, because what I know for sure is someone, somewhere needs to also have this reminder. So here it is, in real time, my thoughts, that are not in my journal, but here for you.


With my friend, I cried about the loss of a friend, about the anger and sadness I feel around not being able to share what I am creating with her, the person who cheered me on for years.


With my friend, I realized, this is in part, why I have stopped creating, it feels somehow more empty, maybe even pointless, it feels less than somehow.


With my friend, I said; " I need to fall in love with my book again, I need to make up with it, I need to befriend it and connect to the passion and why around my book, I need to stop judging it, and create it, to stop critiquing it and create it"


This is the curse, the challenge of the creative, this is where creativity dies; when we critique it so much that the creation stops. The creative is meant to create, they are not the critic, that is not their job. Critiquing takes away from the creative process, stifles it, kills it, changes its meaning, intent and maybe even its purpose. The creative wants others to enjoy, see its worth, its meaning in the creation, but is that the point? Is the point of creation to mean something to others or to the creative?Does the creative's creation have value just by simply being created? Have you now or ever stopped creating because of critiquing, judging or fear of those things like I have? If you desire to create, leave the rest to those whose job that is, why is this so difficult to let go of?


With my friend, I discovered this block for myself and asked myself now, can I let go and just create? Can I leave the critiquing to the editor, to someone else whose job it is to do that work? If my calling, my passion, my heart work is to create, then create dam it. create it and leave the rest to someone else.


With my friend, they shared "do it messy", they opened a door to discovering a block, honored my grief, shared my grief and even held the space. The curse of the creative is that they are always creating, often, maybe always with the inner critic and judge of "am I good enough?" . If the job of the creative is to create, then the creative can leave that question alone, it doesn't need an answer to create.


The creative must create, that is the whole point!


Photographer credit: Radu Florin

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Just create! I used to have self-doubt until I embraced the advice of two artists. Anne Lamott talks about the Shitty First Draft, which is probably like Do It Messy. The only way you can eventually find the words and the themes and nuggets of truth is to write the SFD. Now, I LOVE the SDF. I think to myself, I did more than most people do, I wrote the damn thing. Now I can really dig in and refine it. It's so freeing.


The second piece of advice I heard was from a musician on the topic of failure. So many of us get hung up on listening to our inner critic that we freeze, or worse, don't even…


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Love Anne Lamott. Thank you Pamela! I so appreciate your encouragement here!! 💜

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