I had an interesting conversation with a fellow writer who was extremely frustrated with her work. I have been there many times as a writer and have abandoned my work for days, weeks, even months at a time. I have also been on the other side and watched fellow artists and even my students struggle with what to create. Often in their frustration, their works-in-progress are discarded and their motivation dies.
Since many are pondering what they want to manifest for this new year of 2020, I thought I would share an idea that has been most helpful to me in the creative process, the Playdough Theory. Bare with me...
Remember being a kid sitting with blotches of Playdough?
We punched, rolled, poked, pulled, patted and added to create something. We didn't always know what. We didn't always have a plan. We didn't have someone telling us what to do or how to do it. We simply listened to ourselves without even knowing we were listening because it was so natural, and we went into “creation mode” with joy and curiosity trusting that there was something to be discovered. Yes, it was an adventure! Our focus was not on the pay-off, the time, the status, but on the adventure!
At some point or another, we paused and inspected out creation. If we liked it, we shared it. Maybe... If we did not approve, we were free and courageous enough to start all over without judgement. Sometimes we kept what we liked and added something new. Other times, we started all over again for the fun of it. We were on an adventure, and we were fearless...
Often when we feel our creativity is blocked, we think we are searching for answers or technique, but more often, we are afraid of disapproval, whether it be from others or ourselves. We are afraid we are not good enough. We are afraid of criticism and failure. We are afraid of disappointing ourselves or someone else. We are afraid of... The list is endless, so how do we survive and trust the process and ourselves again?
When we focus on the JOY and CURIOUSITY of the process, we shift our focus away from fear to discovery and creativity.
Many say that fear and love cannot reside in the same place. Doesn't creation often come from love or at least curiosity? Can we be fearful and curious, adventurous at the same time? Can we be fearful and creative at the same time?
My suggestion for the new year is to dive in keeping the “Playdough Theory” in mind. It’s time to punch, roll, poke, pull, pat and create with a fierceness for self, others, and this new decade in which we are BLESSED!
What are you creating and manifesting for 2020? Are you girded with ample joy and curiosity to keep your muse nurtured throughout the process, especially when frustration threatens your creativity? Are you stuck in judgement and fear that stunt your growth and creation or are you courageous and embracing the adventure?
Here’s to a fabulous 2020 to manifest our hearts’ deepest desires and our souls’ brightest visions!
P.S. Many thanks to Athena Dixon who inspired this post! Check out her writing/editing services! Tell her, Tamara sent you!