A Place of Light


This is another excerpt from my journal that I would like to share. It needs editing, but I liked it, and hope you will too!


There’s a lot of light in this place.

It’s a haven of pure air and high spirits. It makes me feel like there’s no darkness left in my reality; by this I know it can’t be reality.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Perhaps I’m on a different plane.

It has to be a dream.

I sit on the ground and let it soak in – energy, inspiration, peace. Could this be the place ideas come from?

Could this weightlessness be the root of my inspiration?

Closing my eyes, I search my mind, seeking ideas for my next poem…here in this place of light.

What the World Needs Now


needs

Have you ever gotten an urge to write something from the bottom of your heart—only to be intimidated by some unnameable force insisting that you smooth the edges until it no longer sounds like you? That urge to fit in and not ruffle feathers…that urge to be like other people so you won’t draw attention…

It may lead you to hit Backspace every time you complete a sentence, starting over with something that’ll sound ‘better.’ Then it’ll make you hesitate before you click Publish or even share a snippet with friends; it’s an irrational fear many of us don’t even want to admit we have.

For those of us already creative, that urge makes us box our potential so it isn’t explosive. We swallow beautiful words because they’re too different for society; we’ll water them down so they no longer have an impact. If a person has yet to find their creative medium, it’ll have a more tragic effect: This person will never try to create, labeling any form of art as a waste of time.

I’m not talking about Writer’s Block, but reluctance to show the world one’s true colors from fear of being judged. Sometimes we don’t think we’re bright enough, or maybe we fear our colors are so bold they’ll blind anyone who walks past us.

What we don’t realize is the world needs more people who’ll glow so brightly with new ideas and creations that they’ll pour magic into a shadowy room.

The creative life is lived both selfishly and for others—that is, we create to find fulfillment but a story ultimately wants to be told. It’s a peculiar balance of doing our own thing and worrying how others will perceive it. Of course it’s all perception in the end—we can’t force someone to like our work—but face it, every creator craves that feeling when someone enjoys our work and says so.

Imagine how much more satisfying that’d feel if we stopped smoothing the edges of our message to create art that was purely ours. Imagine if our messages shone so brightly, they illuminated the room to catch the sight of more people, changing more lives.

It all starts with accepting ourselves for who we are. We should never go after the artist stereotype, because that changes over the years; what the world needs now, at a time so devoid of hope and color, is art with meaning. Art so outrageous and explosive that we will inspire other people to glow as well.

Don’t blur the edges until you’re telling someone else’s story! What we need are original, refreshing, dangerous tales. We need you—yes, you.

Tips on Overcoming Self-Doubt in Creativity


selfdoubt

We waste so much potential every day when we listen to self-doubt.

This week I talked to other creatives about the things keeping them from progress in their work. By the end of the discussion, I realized we had one common enemy: Doubt.

It’s natural to fear nobody will like our work. Fear makes us question whether our projects are worth pursuing. We struggle with doubt throughout our lives, but I’ve noticed many people succumb to doubt instead of soldiering on…they quit altogether.

As a writer, I can best explain this with experiences in the writing process. However, this isn’t just a writer problem. Anyone with a dream will find this block on their road because we have been trained to think small and reasonably.

This feeds the doubt, making it a constant struggle, but not impossible to overcome! If you feel self-conscious about your work, it’s easy to think you’ve failed. This is not true! We all experience self-doubt, but what matters is how we deal with it.

One thing is certain: Giving up won’t solve your problems or satisfy you as a creative. It’ll only douse your dreams like water puts out fire; if you don’t make an effort to protect that flame, you’re letting doubt kill the fire!

What should you do when faced with doubt and lack of confidence? Here are some things that have worked for me in the years I’ve found I could write with confidence:

Get critique partners. The creative path isn’t meant to be traveled alone. We may prefer to write in silence, but without peers to cheer us on it becomes a chore. Find a few like-minded people who share your passion and talk to them when things get rough. If you have friends with you, the creative path becomes an adventure.

Know your limitations without limiting yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be able to write a book in two weeks, don’t expect yourself to. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire to achieve more than your average. Add five minutes to your daily writing time; read a few more pages before putting the book away. Don’t discourage yourself by climbing in a box or setting goals too high.

Take a break. Don’t know how your book is going to end? Set it aside for a couple of weeks and work on another project. The more thought you put into your project, the better it will be; sometimes it’s good for you to take time off. However, remember to resume your project! Leave a sticky note on the wall telling you when to get to work again.

Doubt and fear aren’t going anywhere, and they’re hard to ignore. Just remember you have a story to tell; no one else will say it like you can.

On the other side of fear there’s fulfillment; keep going and there’ll be a beautiful moment when you’ll hold a finished book in your hands. You can do it…you can tell that story and make this moment happen.

How do you overcome self-doubt? What do you tell yourself when it feels the Muse has abandoned you? I’d love to know how you face this challenge!