“The truly creative mind is inhumanly sensitive. To her a touch is a blow, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create so that without the creating of music, poetry or books , her very breath is cut off from her. She must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency she is not really alive unless she is creating.” -Pearl Buck
Words by: Tamisha Ford
There are things self-expression needs in order for it to deliver what you seek from it. The catch is…
It’s not going to let you know.
It can’t speak.
It wants to.
Like a newborn baby, we have to rely on our instincts, insights, and maybe a small dose of experience to guide us on what it needs. If it never gets what it needs from us, it stays hungry. It continues to cry for fulfillment. Yearn for freedom. Need development.
It will anyway.
But there’s a difference in a cry from starvation and a cry for more of what’s already been fulfilling once before.
5 Things Creative Expression Needs
Self-Expression needs inquiry.
Using the same metaphor of newborn babies, isn’t it interesting how we talk to them, converse, ask them questions, and even sometimes wait for an answer? We know for sure we’re not getting one, but we ask anyway. It’s part of the experience. You and I can take from this in a big way. Inquiry is what fuels curiosity. And if we can get used to asking questions, we will always strengthen our creative visions. What is in my true nature? Does this even feel right? What colors should I use? What do I want my work to “say” about me? What do I want this piece to evoke or speak?
Self-Expression needs us to stop believing negative thoughts.
Not just in relationships with others but in all areas of our life, including this one, we need to get better at questioning our own thoughts – again, inquiry. And if those thoughts are negative, we need to question them even more. Often times, negativity is producing an untold amount of false information. If we’re not questioning the thoughts, we’re believing them and thus, we’re suffering. Do you really suck as a writer? I highly doubt it. Can you really be an artist? I think the answer might be yes. Did you bomb your blog out today? Probably not near as much as you’re believing. Take some time with this process. The answers may not come back to you verbally – listen with a higher or more spiritual ear and eye for insights. What’s coming through for you?
Self-Expression needs us to cultivate new thoughts and thus, cultivate new creative space.
In business, the golden ticket is said to be having the ability to “create new market space”. I read a book a couple of years ago called The Blue Ocean Strategy that teaches this in detail. It was recommended reading in a program I enrolled in.
The premise is to create a blue ocean, whereby you are free to swim as you will because no one else can copy what you’re doing or how you build your company, no matter how much they may try. Conversely, red oceans are red and bloody from competition and everyone looking alike or doing the same things.
A red ocean might be burger joints or frozen yogurt shops (there are tons of them). A blue ocean is akin to Cirque de Soleil or Southwest Airlines. They exist in a so-called “market”, but really create their own rules for it entirely (and it’s widely accepted and loved).
We need this mentality in creativity, not just business. Self-expression (yours) is begging you to please be okay with being you and doing it your way. It wants you in a blue ocean, not red ones. Get outta there. You start by questioning untrue thoughts, answering them honestly, and creating new thoughts. The result is breathing room to do what you are really called and desire to do.
(And if you want or need help with this process, let’s work together this summer).
Self-Expression needs us to stop judging our creative space.
Saying it’s not good enough. Thinking it should be different than it is. Feeling guilty that it takes so long to create one freaking thing. Uh….remember this post?
We gotta be a little easier on ourselves. Yes, maybe there are some things you can work on to be more disciplined or write more consistently or send out your newsletter more often, etc, etc. But okay? Growth is also part of the creative space. Embrace that you have somewhere to grow and you aren’t an ego-maniac.
And trust me – something else I can teach you is that no one is judging that creative space nearly as harshly as you are. It’s easier for you to judge it so harshly because you’re intimate with it on a daily or weekly basis. You’re going to be more involved in the noticing than anyone else – just don’t let the insecurity of that leak out and cause you to start comparing yourself with others. Know that no one else probably even notices the little things you notice. And that’s okay.
Self-Expression needs some self-doubt and fear.
We are wired for love…we learn to fear. –Dr. Caroline Leaf
Profound. And true. About everything.
Even the creative process.
We learn to fear feedback, others’ perceptions, our own timelines, outcomes, potential outcomes, and results or the lack thereof.
In his book, The War of Art, my favorite author Steven Pressfield says this about the matter (Decided to read it to you):
As always, thank you for reading & listening. Out of curiosity, which one of these 5 are hardest for you? I’d love it if you shared. Mine is definitely to stop judging the creative space.
Hope to see you in the comments,