Towards the end of 2014 I noticed a deceleration in my creativity in the area of writing. I found myself hopelessly uninspired and struggling to articulate myself. Now (a little over a year later) on the other side of this “writers block,” I hope to help spark that light bulb floating above your gigantic artistic brain.
When I look back at what started this writers block I notice three correlating internal struggles. One, I was starting to question my gifts and my purpose, uncertain of every dream I ever had. I’ve always been the jack of all trades when it came to creative arts, but I never felt like I mastered anything. Two, I started comparing myself to other great artists around me, looking at their accomplishments, listening to their work and belittling my own. Comparison KILLS originality, purpose, and identity and it was killing me slowly. Three, I was overly critical of my work. I created this mindset that nothing I did was "good enough" so even when the slightest idea came I ended up trashing it or “saving it for later.” Later never came.
Funny story, at one point I got so fed up that I wrote a poem titled Writers Block. Nine lines in I realized it was a complete paradox.
I, myself, was the block to creativity. Not fully confident in who I was and afraid that people would not appreciate the way I express myself. Fear of rejection stemmed from fear of man which stemmed from straight up lies I believed about myself. God had a plan though. He was taking me through a journey of redefining and refining. The real issue was that I didn't have the proper foundation. I subconsciously believed that creativity was my identity. If I wasn't creating something SPECTACULAR (in my very critical opinion), I felt lost and defeated. I was creating from a place of fear and lack of performance caused me to believe I was less of an artist. Indeed, artistic ability is a beautiful part of how God made me, but how silly of me to focus on my identity in art instead of finding my identity in the greatest artist known to man.
Creativity is constantly flowing, in and around us. When we find ourselves in this artistic fatigue it can be frustrating, but we simply have to learn how to navigate it. Even though it may not seem so simple at first. There are many roots to creative blocks, but if you find yourself in a similar situation to what I was in, I’d like to encourage you that art is not the reason for your existence and it does not define who you are (yes, I said it), unless you let it. In that case, you will live life a depressed artist. You’ll find that creativity flows a lot easier when you realize that you are a child of God, the possessor of all things creative. Many people believe that what they do is who they are, but this is far from the truth. Let God define who you are and you'll find your opinion of yourself pales in comparison to what He says about you. Creative ability comes from God expressing Himself through you. Nothing you or anyone else thinks about you changes that fact. Instead of trying to prove to the world that you are a great artist, simply BE who He has created you to be, His creative expression!
So before you diagnose yourself with a "basic" case of creative block ask yourself these questions…
1) Am I having an identity crisis?
2) Am I comparing my work to others?
3) Am I being overly critical of my art?