One of the biggest things I see all writers struggle with is the idea that creativity has to be hard.
Sometimes I see this in the way a writer works. They might set themselves up on a schedule—trying to meet a high word count every day, for example—at which they are bound to fail. Or they beat themselves up mercilessly for the messiness and flaws that they see in their first draft. Sometimes it’s more hidden, and while the writer might be trying to stay cheerful on the outside while they meet all their rigorous writing goals, on the inside they feel horrible because their inner critic is lashing out at them for not being productive enough, or original enough, or just plain good enough.
When writers who are struggling turn to the online world of writing for help with these types of problems, they usually only find a lot of blogs and articles that reinforce the very feelings that are making them feel so bad about themselves. There is just so much stuff out there telling us that creativity is not supposed to be fun, that creativity is work and you have to treat it like a job, or that we should always have an eye on how productive we are. We should track our word counts, days devoted to writing, number of rejection letters, and that we should take pride in feeling beaten down and discouraged because, on top of everything else, growing a thick skin is also something that a real writer has to learn to do, even if it’s unbearably painful.
This is all complete nonsense.
Creativity does not have to be hard. And in fact, the harder you feel it is for you, the less you will want to do it. The more you buy into this bullshit belief that you have push yourself and discipline yourself and that’s what “real artists do,” the more miserable you will be. Instead of coming to the page with excitement and enthusiasm, you will show up feeling insanely stressed out with anxiety, and with loads of resistance on top of that.
It’s not enjoyable and there’s not the least bit of fun in it. And it’s absolutely not necessary to approach writing in this way.
However, most writers are so caught up in all the stress and anxiety that they never stop to pause and ask themselves where they even got the idea that creativity has to be hard in the first place. They haven’t slowed down long enough to examine the energy and source behind that idea, and others like it, and if they did, they would find out a few very surprising things.
I talk more in-depth about this in the video below. Where ideas like this come from and how we can pull back the mask and see this idea for what it truly is:
I just released a new video course for writers who feel like all the joy has gone out of their creative process. It’s called “The Joyful Writer” and it’s specifically designed to help you get out of your head, and get over your creative blocks. If this sounds like something that might be helpful to you in your writing journey, be sure to check out the new course HERE.
Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ Writer and The INFJ Revolution. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book on creative marketing for INFJ and INFP writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.