The truth is, when it comes to creativity, I’m not the most patient person. I expect results instantly and get frustrated when they don’t emerge at the speed I would like them to.
It took me a long time to understand that you cannot rush anything about the creative process. You cannot rush anything new that you are acquainting yourself with. There is a subtle ebb and flow that happens when you are engaged in the process of creativity. How we progress and improve and enrich our work is determined purely by how committed we are to our practice.
The writing process has taught me much about practicing the art of patience. Results sometimes come quickly, sometimes they are laboured, making you feel as though you are starting from scratch. How we help support and nurture the creative process is by recognising that there is no end result in the outcome. It is a constantly shifting and evolving practice.
To deepen and enrich our craft, we need to crack ourselves open. The more we challenge, push and force ourselves to take risks, the more we are breathing life and energy into our craft and pushing the boundaries of our potential. It’s not a comfortable process. It’s not meant to be. Sometimes we feel completely in sync with the practice, sometimes we question our level of skill and compare and judge ourselves, instantly leaning towards giving it all up.
Cracking yourself open doesn’t have to be a traumatising, life-changing affair. It can be as simple as committing yourself to taking the smallest steps in doing something that is a little unconventional. Whether that be in your personal life or in your creative output. The energy you give, the feeling that permeates when you force yourself to be a little uncomfortable, triggers this internal feeling of expansion. The greatest changes I have experienced in my writing practice have been when I‘ve chosen to push and challenge myself. Whether that was diving into the Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way, sending off a pitch to a magazine, entering a competition, calling an editor, taking an internship at my favourite magazine, accepting my very first commissioned writing job or simply taking the time to journal on a daily basis. One way or another, the decisions I’ve made to engage with my writing, have all served to deepen, extend and help me crack myself open so I can get closer to understanding my craft better.
Regardless of whether you have been at your craft for decades or are just starting out, the process is exactly the same. We are constantly evolving. Our influences, experiences and circumstances, all serve to broaden our creative horizon.
Don’t limit your perspective. Don’t expect instant results. Don’t become disheartened on days you feel incompetent. It is a constant, evolving work-in-progress. Give yourself permission to feel vulnerable and uneasy. Celebrate when you feel you’ve had a creative breakthrough. But don’t get caught up in the emotion of either. It is fleeting. Let the process guide you and steer you toward engaging with creativity and always remember to bring a level of enjoyment to what you’re doing. It is the most enriching feeling when you can simply surrender and trust that the strength of your abilities are greater than you could ever possibly imagine….
Happy travels…Paula x