Monday, June 3, 2013

Has Fear Stalled Your Creative Dream

Today am posting another article on Creativity.  I'll be doing these once a month from now on. If you missed the first one "What if you don't want to dream big" you can see it here.

Has Fear Stalled Your Creative Dream

So you have this great idea , you have broken it down it into small steps and things are moving a long at a good pace and then Boom you hit a wall.  All of sudden the idea you had doesn't seem so exciting anymore.  You are stuck, you don’t know what to do next. Maybe the next step brings up some big fears. One thing that most of us don’t know about the creative process is that everyone goes through the same things. We all procrastinate, deal with perfectionism, self sabotage, face fears, fall into creative chaos, have resistance and more.  Today I’ll be talking about fear.

Just last week I had to face a big fear of mine.  My writing group was  doing what we called Speed Critique Sessions.  It was based on speed dating, you are paired with a person, you read each others work and then you have a conversation about it.  Then you switch to another person.
I have let some people read my work before but here was a group of people who’ve become friends the last few years. I had fears about letting them read my work.  Now these fears were not rational, but I still felt them.   In my case my fear brought up some issues from my past.  Issue with self esteem, not being good enough, wondering if people will still like me afterwards and more.

In my case the fear of not ever improving was stronger than my fear of this exercise. I went to the meeting not really stressed, but wishing it was over with.  I thought my three pages of writing were really awful. Felt like I needed more time with them. So throw in a little perfectionism anxiety along with the fear. Was I scared, yes I was. I had to remember how much fun I have reading other peoples work and realize they will feel the same way about mine. 

So what did I learn when I faced the fear and let others read my writing.  I learned that there were some parts that everyone liked. There were some things I had done really well, and others that were not as clear as I thought. Having this many opinions was eye opening and the suggestions were great.  I realized that this is how you become a better writer. The other thing I learned is that none of the things I worried about happened.  That is the way it is with fear most of the time.

Often when we are in fear we feel stuck or frozen. We don’t know what to do next so often we do nothing.  We find numerous ways to avoid our project.  This could be TV or the Internet, or saying we have no time. We may even start new projects to avoid getting to the sticky parts. 

So you realize you are in a fear stage, what can we do about it.  

    * Write down your fears - knowing what they are is helpful.
    * Try writing to your future self. Write about how you felt after   
      accomplishing the task.
    * Act as if you are your favorite author, how would they deal with the 
    * Focus on having a positive outcome. 
    * Break down your fear into small steps.   If you are afraid to take your 
      writing to a critique group, then give it to one person first, someone you
      trust to be kind and gentle.
    * Instead of dreading a task, think of it in terms of  “I get to” do that task.
    * Come up with ways to make the task more fun.  
    * Recall what you’ve done around fear in the past. Try that technique 

Remember that to experience fear is a normal part of the creative process.  We all go through it, even those of us who have been at it for a long time. Try some of these techniques when you are in fear and soon you’ll work you way to the other side and be excited an enthused about your project.

Did you know that you can have me as your very own coach. In addition to full packages I have options for those on a budget.  These include email, a one time brainstorming session and pay as you go. Details can be found on my website

1 comment:

  1. Kate, thanks for doing these posts about the creative process...I'm learning from them. In the past I was almost paralyzed by fear of sharing my art but now I happily share the good, the bad, and the ugly because I know it helps me grow.


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