Deanna Pledge, Ph.D.

Bloom Where You're Planted!










Blooming Blog

Creativity: Getting Started

October 7, 2011

Tags: creativity, women, obstacles, feelings, getting started

"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity."
— Chuck Jones
Warner Brothers animator

As this week’s quote suggests, discomfort is often part of the creative process. Not only do we have to give ourselves permission to create, but we have to be ready for the uncertainty that accompanies the process. Part of being creative includes not knowing exactly what comes next.
For many in our culture, particularly as women who maintain order and structure in family schedules, this uncertainty is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Learning how to move forward without knowing what comes next can be an important life skill as well as an important factor in allowing yourself to be creative.

Think about the last time you felt anxious, nervous, or uncomfortable…what did you do? If you are like most people, you probably tried to move away from those feelings as quickly as possible! Being able to “sit with” those feelings, however, allows you to move forward in new ways. Responding quickly to get rid of uncomfortable feelings actually limits the options available to you and reinforces old habits. Old habits often move us toward the known rather than the unknown. If you are at a point in your life when you are ready to explore new paths, thinking of these feelings as excitement about the changes may help you continue to move forward. Re-framing how you label your experiences as “good” or “bad” can give you greater potential to try new activities.

Try starting your creative process by thinking about what excites you. Make a list and figure out your best starting point. Possibilities include beginning with what requires the least amount of effort or if you thrive on challenges, try the opposite end which may include signing up for classes or working with a buddy to help you continue moving forward. Get excited and get started!