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How Fear Blocks Creativity

A friend sent me this from "The Daily Om", a newsletter ... it's something that very much applies both to writing and to why we're so open with our internet friends, I think:


Protecting Your Flow
How Fear Blocks Creativity
To understand how fear blocks creativity, take a moment to imagine yourself telling a story. First, imagine telling the story to someone you love and who loves you. You probably feel warmth and energy as you fill in the details of your tale to your friend's delight. Now, imagine telling the same story to someone who, for whatever reason, makes you uncomfortable. The wonderful twists and turns, the fine points and colorful images that unfolded in your mind for your friend probably won't present themselves. Instead of warmth, energy, and creativity, you will probably feel opposite sensations and a desire to close down. When we feel unsafe, whether we fear being judged, disliked, or misunderstood, our creative flow stops. Alternately, when we feel safe, our creativity unfolds like a beautiful flower, without conscious effort.

Knowing this, we can maximize our creative potential by creating the conditions that inspire our creativity. In order to really be in the flow, we need to feel safe and unrestricted. However, achieving this is not as simple as avoiding people who make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we can be alone in a room and still feel totally blocked. When this happens, we know we have come up against elements in our own psyches that are making us feel fearful. Perhaps we are afraid that in expressing ourselves we will discover something we don't want to know, or unleash emotions or ideas that we don't want to be responsible for. Or maybe we're afraid we'll fail to produce something worthy.

When you're up against fear, internal or external, ritual can be a powerful-and creative-antidote. Before you sit down to be creative, try casting a circle of protection around yourself. Visualize yourself inside a ring of light, protective fire, or angels. Imagine that this protective energy emanates unconditional love for you and wants to hear, see, and feel everything you have to express. Take a moment to bathe in the warmth of this feeling and then fearlessly surrender yourself to the power that flows through you.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
myfeetshowit
May. 31st, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
I definitely think this is true, but I'm not sure it is so easy to recreate the feeling you want. Especially when ill-timed criticism, even of the good kind, can pull the rug out from underneath you.

Still, every little bit helps.
ozma914
Jun. 1st, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
getting the feeling again
Agreed. Writers are notoriously thin-skinned, so even well intentioned criticism can make it rough to get back into the groove. I've been there!
frimfram
May. 31st, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Heh. This is why I always pretend I don't have a friendlist when I'm writing :)
frimfram
May. 31st, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Not that the people on my friendslist make me uncomfortable! Just - eh, performance anxiety :)
ozma914
Jun. 1st, 2006 01:39 am (UTC)
I'm pretty much able to just write for myself, and worry about the reader later, which for most writers works best. It does mean that there might be a great deal of revision to come later, especially when you're writing for publication, but you still have to be true to your heart. (Besides, I know I'm going to revise *anyway* ... my rough draft is always, well, rough.
cbtreks
May. 31st, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
Very thought-provoking. I think there's a lot of truth in this. (Though in my case, at least as far as writing is concerned, I think it's much more a matter of diletantism. Is that a word?)
ozma914
Jun. 1st, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
dilettantism
According to dictionary.com it is:

A dabbler in an art or a field of knowledge. See Synonyms at amateur.
A lover of the fine arts; a connoisseur.

Yesterday I couldn't spell writer: today I are one!
cordelianne
Jun. 1st, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this! There's definitely some interesting points there that I'm reflecting on about my own writing. *g*
ozma914
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
It's a good idea to reflect, every once in awhile. That's why vampires are poor writers. (Get it? Reflect --? Oh, never mind.) *grin*
raemcn
Jun. 1st, 2006 07:45 am (UTC)
Enjoyed this and there are many good points in it. Fear is my biggest problem. The first story I'd ever written in my life was only a little over a year ago. I had no background in writing at all except for small poems which I've written since I was about 14. Mine aren't flowery type things though. I much prefer raw emotions as well as more sensual type stuff. LOL

Fear and being upset rule whether I can write anything at all and I've worked very hard to improve myself with the help of two others who have spent time with me, teaching me different ways to help myself. Every fic I've written has been an improvement from teh one before I'm happy to say.
ozma914
Jun. 1st, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
"Every fic I've written has been an improvement from the one before." ... There you go! That's the key; to learn, practice, and improve. The number of writers who came out of the womb ready to pen a best-seller approaches absolute zero -- all of them, even the ones with huge amounts of natural talent, had a learning curve.

The way you get over your fear is the same way I did: Get better, so that one day you'll realize you're not as bad as you think you are. It took me years to figure out I was actually a pretty good writer, years during which I bought dozens of books on writing, took three writing courses, and collected tons of rejection slips. I could wallpaper my entire office with rejection slips. My fiction is still not published, but I no longer wonder whether it will ever be; I know it *will* be, if I stick to it and don't get encouraged. I wouldn't have said the same thing ten years ago.

So, you've employed people you trust to help you learn, and you realize that you're getting better, and you're practicing. You're halfway to the best-seller list already. :-)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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