Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Allowing Yourself To Be Creative

Allowing yourself? Surely that can't be right! How can you allow yourself to be creative? Surely if you are creative, then you are creative?

Not in my experience. I have always felt like a creative person but I have often stifled my creative drive. In fact, I haven't always had to stifle it; everyday life does that perfectly well without any help. But I have certainly enabled outside factors to suppress it, and it was changing this that allowed my creativity to flourish.

I didn't consult any self-help books or go on any NLP courses. Having an extremely supportive partner and network of friends has helped - and continues to help - immensely, but the crux, for me, was turning the barrier to my creativity around so it kept the negative out and allowed the positive to roam free.

Rather than waking up one morning and saying: "Right! That's it! I'm in my 30s now and I've waited too long and wasted too much time! People write books and have them published, and so can I! I'm not too old! I can be taken seriously as an artist! Even though I did sciences at A-Level rather than English Literature, and went on to do a B.Sc. rather than a B.A., I am worthy of this! I do have something to say! I can deal with harsh critics! I am a writer!" the thoughts in this sentence filtered into my consciousness over several months and gradually turned into positive action.

All of the thoughts in my sentence above are the reactions to fears that I have held for years, and it is these fears that have stopped me from even attempting to accomplish anything. I cannot tell you how to face these fears because I haven't analysed my own fears properly. All I know is that, if you are feeling held back, then you need to try to find what it is that is holding you back and remove that destructive force so that you can create.

I have a feeling that this could become a theme, but if there's one thing I can point to as an important factor in shaking off the baggage, then it's the fact that I'm now in my thirties. Being in my thirties, I no longer worry about things. A decade ago, I would spend hours getting ready to go out, exercise obsessively and agonise over every morsel of carbohydrate; now, I don't care how I look, as long as I can fit into my clothes and I look reasonably well groomed. The energy I expended in worrying has been released, and it has to go somewhere; in my case, that somewhere is writing. A major problem for me was the idea of not being taken seriously by my contemporaries who have a career structure in a profession; now, I don't care, because I know just how unhappy you can be when you are doing something you don't fully enjoy, especially when you want more than anything to do something else that makes you happy.

I am now too old not to at least have a go at attaining happiness through creativity, therefore I allow myself to be creative.

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