Updated: Feb 13
This article is intended to provide insight and support to anyone who struggles with creative blockage or difficulty in their creative process.
There are many ways we can experience creative blockage, confusion or disconnection. Whether it be a total disconnect, where we feel completely cut off from our creative energy, or perhaps the difficulty lies somewhere within the creative process itself. This could take many shapes. For some, they may be connected to their creative energy but struggle to make it past the stage of inspiration. They may have beautiful dreams and ideas yet these inspirations never get to see the light of day. Ideas are of course non-physical so no matter how many ideas we have, without taking concrete action to bring them to form, they will remain intangible.
Creative blocks can arise for some of us when it comes to sitting down to concentrate on our ideas. We may have spent some time fleshing them out, yet when it comes down to really concentrating on the creative process, we can't seem to get ourselves there. For others, there may be a general feeling of 'what's the point' present when they entertain the possibility of exploring their creative nature. This, I feel, can be an expression of a deeper wound that tells us our voices don't matter. This deserves attention, tenderness, and acknowledgement as for many of us the creative blocks we experience are related on a deeper level to safety and self-worth.
In many ways, the core pieces that we can look at in gaining creative confidence and unlocking our creative potential really circulate around believing that our voices matter. This can (and possibly will be) a topic for another article as there is just an incredible amount of depth we could explore when it comes to valuing our voices.
Another massive creative block that we may face as humans is the expectation to create something that's "good." How many times have you gone to start a project and felt crippled by the pressure to create something good? One of the reasons this can be so crippling is because classifying what is "good" in terms of art, creativity, and self-expression is really a subjective experience. When we can release the judgements and labels of 'good' and 'bad' we can open up to a whole new realm of freedom within our creative lives and processes.
The final block I'll mention here is a famous one: when someone has decided "I'm just not a creative person."
Let me start by saying, everyone is a creative person.
Our culture has reinforced the idea that only some people are born with creative gifts, that only some are blessed from birth with artistry. This is simply not true.
Here are the reasons why:
Firstly, you come from the same source of creation as everyone and everything else. That source of creation is both creator and created; meaning, that the very substance of existence itself is creative energy. There is no universally possible way that you could not be creative, because you are living, breathing, walking, Creation.
Secondly, our psyche is like a diamond. There are many facets of expression that are available to us. When we live in a societal structure that encourages and socializes people to be one thing, we inevitably disown whole aspects of ourselves and our nature. It is common for people to feel disconnected from their creativity or to feel as if they simply do not possess any at all. Often this can be a result of becoming overly identified with the mind, intellect, and rationality. We could also think of this in terms of left-brain dominance.
The identity of the rational mind, which has been largely conditioned as the 'way to be' in our society, has certain qualities. The rational mind values logic, reason, strategy, control, and what is known. Psychologically when we identify with a certain set of values, there is an inevitable disowning of the energy that opposes this set of values. So the child who gets raised to absorb the identity of the rational mind naturally suppresses the parts of themselves that are more creative, imaginative, and non-linear.
This doesn't mean that this child was born without creativity, it means that the personality the child was shaped to take on suppresses that side of the psyche. What is wonderful to know is that everything we disown remains within us. It lives within the land of the unconscious where all parts of us that have been deemed unsafe or unsavory by the personality reside. Once we know this, we can begin our process of excavation.
This point I'm making definitely calls for some reflection as this is a huge area that holds people back. They don't see themselves as an artist. They don't see themselves as creative. This is simply because they are identified on some level with something that seems to oppose it. What I'm suggesting here is not to throw out the rational mind but rather to begin exploring balance through unearthing some of that creative, right-brain energy that exists on the other side.
Thirdly, You are already creating and you may not even recognize it. Even if you are someone who has been primarily identified with seeing the world through only rational, logical eyes, and perhaps demeaning anything of a more artful, intuitive nature, you are still expressing yourself creatively in your life. With every choice you make, you are creating. We tend to think of creativity as an activity that results in certain physical outcomes like a song, a painting, a play, etc. While it of course can be this, creativity is also the act of creating that we are doing in every single moment through the choices we make and through what energetic qualities we embody beneath those choices.
So, everyone's creative. Let's talk about ways that we can heal, strengthen, and deepen our creative lives.
In The Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes shares five phases of creation:
As you look at these 5 phases, identify where you experience the most struggle.
Phase 1: Inspiration
For those of you who feel completely disconnected from your creativity, you may obviously feel like you never even get to the first phase which is inspiration. I would encourage you to start to pay attention because you probably do receive some level of inspiration. It may not be specifically related to something you would classify as creative – it could be a business idea, a way of improving something in your life, or a new way of doing something in your work.