Sometimes confronting your greatest doubts—contemplating the end—can be… freeing. Stepping back from the harsh taskmasters of your dreams and the pressures of your goals can allow you to look at creativity as a more fluid process.
I’m returning to writing in a looser, less-agonized fashion; trying to make things work but not collapsing in despair when they don’t. Approaching each idea (and each doubt) with a more relaxed and accepting mind frame may not actually result in more writing. But it will result in less stress, which I think will be healthier in the long run.
The desire to write (or create in any medium or capacity) feels innate. When you question that desire, and really challenge it, exploring its flaws and weaknesses, you open yourself up to failure. Yet you also allow yourself more freedom in attempting new forms of creativity.
And when you come back to creating (if you come back at all), you come back for you—not for success or anyone else. It can help to put some of your fear of judgment into perspective, at least for a time.
I think that the creative industry, as helpful and encouraging and wonderful as it is, can tend to put a lot of pressure on certain narratives about creativity. That it is innate, that it must always be done for love, that it is about tapping into your truest self. All of these things may absolutely be true, but I think questioning those narratives, especially how they pertain to you, is an important step in growing as an artist.
So I’m looking at ideas not as “the one,” but as “the now.” And if that “now” is only a few minutes of thought and exploration, so be it. If it evolves into an actual product, great.
Professional artists may have to grow into forcing themselves to commit and see things through to the end no matter what. I’m sure at some point I will need to try that strategy again. But for now, I’m okay with letting my whims dictate my creativity… even if that means not creating at all.