Whenever I talk to a new client who’s come to me because they’re suffering the pain of blocked creativity, I start by drilling down into the values that motivate their creative life. In other words, the reason they want to be creative or have more creativity in their lives. Through this exercise with my clients, I’ve found that most of the time this remains a general, vague sort of idea to people who feel called to be writers or artists. We know we want to connect with our creativity on a deeper level, but when we examine why that is, we have a hard time coming up with answers.
I used to dread winter coming. I grew up in Michigan, a very cold and snowy place during the winter. So when the days started getting shorter in the fall I knew subzero temperatures and life-threatening patches of black ice were on the way. Then I moved to California and I didn’t have to fear the snow and ice anymore. But my dread of winter stayed with me. There was just something about it getting dark so early in the afternoon that depressed me. I felt this need to withdraw and retreat until spring showed up again.
I also noticed that my writing output seemed to suffer during the end of December, but I blamed it on the holiday madness that erupts every year. I was too busy to think straight, much less push through those difficult last few chapters of my novel.
How many times have you beaten yourself up for not doing more? And how much of the time do you disregard your small accomplishments because they’re not the big goal you promised yourself?
Have you noticed that when you bring this mindset to the writing of your novel you end up feeling tired, discouraged, and sometimes hopeless?
Why is there such a large gap between setting goals and completing them? Some writers vow to write every day and then give it up before the week is out. Some writers swear that this is the year they finish their novel, and then the novel sits in the drawer for the next two years. We know that we truly want to fulfill these dreams, but still we procrastinate until things feel hopeless. Why is it so hard?
All of my life people have described me as intense. My family, my friends, perfect strangers that I’ve met at parties. I’ve been known to get really excited about a topic—like REALLY excited—without noticing the person that I’m talking to is backing away from me and trying to get out of the room. Don’t get me wrong, my intuitive people skills are usually pretty good. But when my creative faculties are triggered, everything else flies out the window.