There is often a difficulty when I sit down to write, when the words, thoughts and ideas seem to have dried up, inspiration is on strike and the publishing deadline is looming large. I have asked myself many times ‘Do I miss it … just the one time or do I keep it going?’ The temptation is to let oneself off the hook and say, “I have done pretty well up to now and it would be okay to let it drift for today.”
But then the gremlins start. The ones that used to say ‘Don’t bother writing and publishing. Nobody is listening!’ Now they are nagging with ‘You can’t stop now, you will be letting so many people down.’
It’s a funny thing, the ego. It begins by not wanting you to start something in case you are judged and nobody likes what you do … in case you fail! Then, when you get past that bit, the same ego doesn’t want you to stop, or try something new or to be different in case you draw attention to yourself and are judged negatively.
It is no surprise really when you consider that through our upbringing and schooling that we are so conditioned to be right, to be good, to conform and not to be wrong. Therefore we don’t risk exposing ourselves and our work, to judgment and potential criticism. ‘Let’s stay safe’ is our guiding thought.
It is a wonder that anything ever gets invented and new ideas generated. It’s also a wonder how so many new pieces of art are created and so many books and songs are written.
But they are!
It seems, that despite our conditioning there is an aspect of our make up that goes deeper than the programming that we have all grown up with. Something that is stronger, an energy, a force that pushes us to express ourselves in whatever medium of creation that we choose to play in.
You would be forgiven for thinking that it is only the real outliers, those with steely determination who can conceive of new ideas and stories and then push them through to fruition, who can ‘Do It’ and that this pursuit is not for the average or normal person … not for someone like YOU! The way that the well known creatives and artists are portrayed in the media would easily lead you to that belief – they are shown as special and their achievements are suggested as being beyond the capability of we mortals.
The capacity to conceive of ideas, designs, concepts, stories, images, songs is within us all. It doesn’t have to be good – this piece is witness to that – in fact it doesn’t need to be judged, it just needs to be done, to be written, to be sketched, doodled, baked, sung, coded, carved or built.
We just need to start, to commit and take the first small step. Ignore the gremlins, the ego, the doubts and even the fears. There is nothing to fear. I realised this myself after I pushed through it and began writing this blog and discovered the real truth.
So, what have you stopped yourself doing up to now because of those gremlins?
It’s time to let go and be true to yourself. Get started. You owe it to yourself.