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Overcoming Creative Paralysis

Nov 18, 2018What I'm Learning

Recently, I was chatting with a long-time friend who always encourages me to write things down. Her logic is that I have a degree in journalism, so I should be writing. But honestly, it’s the degree that makes me hypersensitive about writing because it implies that I have mastered the subject when I know that is not the truth.

In my head, I know what great writing looks like. I have read it, analyzed it, and admired it. I used to write for fun, but after college I began constantly analyzing and reanalyzing my own work to the point that I don’t even write for fun anymore. Yikes!

I now like to think that ignorance is bliss when it comes to being creative. Knowing too much about anything in the creative realm can cause paralysis because with this newfound knowledge, it becomes easier to compare where you are, what you think you’re capable of, and what you’ve done with what you know and the work you admire from others. Comparison is the pathway that leads to the death of creativity. Ten times out of 10 comparison leads to a feeling of either pride or discouragement. For me, these two extremes wind and meander into a weird sort of creative paralysis. 

The quote on the side was a mini pep talk I gave to myself during an internal debate about my procrastinating with writing…

“Jump in! It’s less painful when you do it quickly. Like with swimming, the discomfort is drawn out indefinitely when you linger and slowly wade into the cold waters. Just do it afraid!” – me

So my big takeaway is TAKE A STEP. Or better yet, JUMP IN! If there’s something you enjoy doing don’t get sucked into the black hole of information gathering and comparing. Go for it!

Photo by Bookblock on Unsplash