If you’re a highly creative person then chances are you’ve gone through periods in your life when you felt creatively stifled. Maybe you had a brutal work schedule or you were caught up in a bad relationship and your head wasn’t where it needed to be to make good art. Or maybe you had critical parents and you just never had the self-confidence to put your work out into the world. But no matter what the reason, all of us at one time or another have wished we could bring more creativity into our lives, and then we’ve gotten blocked on how to make that dream a reality.
Why is this? Why is it so hard to tap into our own creativity and make it work for us?
Yes, we live in a modern busy world that is full of distractions and no one has enough time, but this is an easy way out. At the bottom of it, the no-time thing is just one more excuse. There is another, larger, problem beyond this.
The real problem is that creativity can be a scary thing.
When we think of creativity, we might think of splashing paint on canvas or writing an excellent short story that wins some sort of award. We might acknowledge that we are already creative in our lives if we take the time to cook gourmet meals or decorate our home with love. This layer of creativity feels fun and playful, maybe a bit casual even. It’s also not what we’re talking about when we begin to really talk about exploring our deep creative core.
Every one of us has this deep creative core, and it’s a wild place, full of unpredictable desires and intimidating urges. Our deep creative core wants to fulfill these desires and urges, even if that means tearing other things down. Our deep creative core pushes us to take inventory of our lives and to be honest with ourselves. Are we living in alignment with our soul’s purpose? Are we tuned in to beauty? To love? Are we making an honest effort to find meaning in our lives, every single day?
Our deep creative core demands that we ask hard questions, and that we don’t run away when we get hard answers back.
And this is why we see so many people out there who are so totally disconnected from their creative core. In a way, it is much easier to live on autopilot and concentrate on imitating what we see others doing around us, rather than making our own original and sometimes questionable choices and having no mass consensus available to assure us that we absolutely did the right thing.
Living from your creative core means going out on a limb, taking the risk, possibly being laughed at or misunderstood but doing it anyway. It means being willing to see the beauty in yourself and choosing not to be afraid of it, even if it feels like it’s too intense, too much, too wild and too unknown. It means writing that first page of your book, even if you cringe the whole time you’re writing it. It means painting that picture, even if you hear your inner critic screaming at you all the while. It means putting yourself out there—ALL of you—even if you’re terrified of being rejected.
It’s not surprising that the whole creative experience can feel overwhelming and scary to people. And that’s why so many of us push it away, without even being fully conscious that that’s what we’re doing. It’s why we tell ourselves we don’t have the time right now, we don’t have the money right now, our idea isn’t good enough or it’s been done before, or that we don’t have the skills to pull it off.
The truth is that time can be made, and most of the time you don’t need as much money as you think you do. The truth is that every idea has merit, every new iteration of something is actually totally unique, and your skills can always be improved. The truth is that you CAN make it happen RIGHT NOW. But you have to choose it. You have to choose it and not look back.
Once you start living from your deep creative core you will never want to return to the way things were before. Yes, you’ll still experience setbacks and even despair, but you’ll know what it is to feel truly alive, and you’ll realize THAT is the point of life. To feel alive. Nothing else compares to that feeling, and nothing else can take its place.
This is the real deal you can have with your own creativity, if you make the choice to be brave enough to walk through that door. Once you walk through that door, your life WILL change, there’s no doubt about it, and you might not be comfortable with those changes, at first. But you’ll access parts of yourself that you never knew existed and a side of the world you’ve only dreamed of in your wildest fantasies.
So, I invite you to do it, and you can consider this an open offer. Do it. Walk through that door.
Change your life and become the creative being you were always meant to be.
Lauren Sapala is the author of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers, a guide to help any HSP, INFJ, INFP, or introvert writer move past resistance to selling and marketing their work. She is also the author of The INFJ Writer, a writing guide made specifically for sensitive intuitive writers.