Today’s guest post is by Dan Goodwin of A Big Creative Yes. Dan is a creativity coach and we’re very glad to have him here as our first guest blogger! (If you would like to submit a guest post for Creativity’s Workshop, read the guidelines here.) The links within today’s post will take you to other great posts at A Big Creative Yes.
Do you ever feel let down by your creativity?
Do you ever feel like you’re turning up to create with great expectations, only to be disappointed and disheartened by the lack of creativity that shows up for you in return?
You soon start to wonder where your creativity has disappeared to. And maybe whether you’ll ever see it again.
If this kind of pattern has been happening to you, maybe you’re not aware of the invisible promise of your creativity.
When you were first introduced, all those years ago, your creativity made a deal with you. At the core of this deal was an unfaltering, invincible, invisible promise.
Your creativity promised you that if you showed up to create with all the energy and focus and enthusiasm you could muster, it would always be there too – on the same street corner in the same town, in the same depths of the same forest, at the same bend in the same river.
All you needed to do was show up with the best you had. The rest you’d do together.
When you made the deal, you made it for life.
The problem is, later on, that life got in the way, and confused and obscured the relationship your and your creativity have, and the bond you formed.
And because the invisible promise was not written down, countersigned and archived, you forgot not only what it contained, but that it was ever made at all.
Which brings us back to the place we began with – you showing up to create and feeling let down because your creativity, your muse, your inspiration – whatever you wish to call it – isn’t keeping its end of the deal and showing up too.
This is because you’ve forgotten one essential part of the promise.
I forget it too sometimes, we all forget sometimes. The crucial part is this:
Your creativity promised it would show up with you, but it needs you to actually do that too.
To show up.
Not just physically, but in your mind, in your focus, in your energy, in your heart.
And it needs you to do this often.
Not once a month. Not a handful of times a year. Not on the occasional Tuesday evening, precisely one week after the last episode of a 24 part season of the show you watch and wonder why has ended and you don’t know how to fill the gap.
Your creativity promised to show up every day, if you showed up every day. It promised to give you all it had, if you give it all you have.
Like some vast, powerful amplifier, or a fairytale magic mirror, what you come to the page, the stage or the canvas with, your creativity gives right back. Plus a whole lot more.
This doesn’t mean that if you show up every day to create that you’ll create a masterpiece every time.
But you’ll never create a masterpiece, a minorpiece or a tiny little baby mouthful sized piece of you don’t come to the ball at all.
From that consistency of creating each day, you’ll gain an incredible momentum. You’ll begin to feel creatively invincible.
You’ll also make plenty of the kind of mistakes that open exciting new pathways that you otherwise never would have discovered.
And, probably most importantly of all, when you show up to create every day, the idea of being creatively blocked for days, weeks, months, even years on end, will simply not exist.
If you need evidence that your creativity is alive and well, and just waiting for you to remember its invisible promise and start creating again, try this:
You’re thinking you’re not creative anymore, right? That’s it’s dried up and disappeared and you’ll never create like you used to?
Which obviously means you can’t imagine in your mind that little girl. Yes, that one. You can’t picture the colour of her eyes, the shade of her hair, the clothes she’s wearing, those unmistakable little shoes, and that smile on her face.
You can’t see the way she skips along with that flower clip in her hair, and her bag across one shoulder. And you can’t possibly imagine where she might be off to.
Oh, but you just did.
You just saw her, in vivid detail.
And now you’re thinking about where she’s heading to. And the story, the one that wasn’t visible a few moments ago, is gently unfolding in your imagination.
It doesn’t matter who the girl is, or what she looks like. She appeared because for that point in time you showed up ready to create.
Your creativity kept its invisible promise and showed up with you, then together the images tumbled into your mind.
Keep your side of the promise too. Often.
Show up, every day, in that town on that street corner, in the depths of that forest, at that bend in that river.
Arrive will all you have, each day, every day, and be gloriously reunited with the creativity you thought you’d lost.
Will you promise?
Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin helps people become as creative as they’ve always known they can be. He works with artists to help them remember that creating is as essential to their lives and happiness as breathing, eating, and sleeping. Dan writes regularly on his blog A Big Creative Yes.