To be creative at times feels like an almost effortless flow, but creative work may also require a high level of courage and boldness.
“To pursue acting… needed a fair degree of willfulness… I grew up in quite an oppressive Catholic society. In order to survive that, you either had to be willful or risk losing touch with yourself.” Actor Judy Davis
There are many social, cultural and inner emotional and belief influences that can help develop creativity – or oppress and suppress creative energy.
Joan Chen comments about directing her first film: “Xiu Xiu, The Sent Down Girl” (1998), which had opposition from the Chinese government:
“From getting an idea to completing this film…There was obstacle after obstacle after obstacle. I think without that drive, that spiritual need to tell a meaningful story, I would not have been able to do it.”
“Don’t worry about getting into the profession. Write anyway to make your soul grow. That’s what the practice of any art is, it isn’t to make a living, it’s to make your soul grow.”
Contents of my video above:
[Title background image: "nightgreen" by AlicePopkorn - she creates many abstract and other kinds of digital images.]
Audio clip: Screenwriter and film director James Toback on the Charlie Rose Show 11/3/2013.
He comments that he has been very lucky to do what he wants as an artist, but has many “very talented, imaginative, and ambitious” friends from Harvard who have been successful in areas outside the arts, but did not find a way to “harness their creative energy” and “every one is unfulfilled; every one is a frustrated artist.”
College grads photo from Harvard College Student Blog post: Better Late Than Never – Part 2: Commencement by Scott Yim.
Psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel writes in his book The Van Gogh Blues: A Creative Person’s Path Through Depression, “Creators have trouble maintaining meaning. Creating is one of the ways they endeavor to maintain meaning. In the act of creation, they lay a veneer of meaning over meaninglessness and sometimes produce work that helps others maintain meaning.”
He warns: “Not creating is depressing because creators are not making meaning when they are not creating.”
Photo in video: artist Alexis Smith from my article Creating To Maintain Meaning.
Eric Maisel audio clip is from this video: Motivational Strategies – Overcome Creative Anxiety, interview by Mojgan Rady [site].
The video references his book: Making Your Creative Mark: Nine Keys to Achieving Your Artistic Goals.
Other images in my video “Being Bold To Be Creative”:
Wu Zhenhuan Artist Studio By Galleri Beck-Fischer.
Artist in the Lion Forest Garden, By IceNineJon.
J.K. Rowling writing in a cafe – from my article J.K. Rowling on creative imagination.
Food critic Anton Ego in the movie “Ratatouille” (2007) – also used in my article: Toxic Criticism and Developing Creativity.
Sandra Tsing Loh is a Caltech graduate in physics and a writer, actress, performance-artist, pop-culture analyst, and radio commentator [Wikipedia]. The audio clip is from her Commencement Speech to the Caltech Class of 2005.
Second photo of Sandra Tsing Loh in glasses relates to her National Public Radio show “The Loh Down on Science.”
Photo of Emily Browning, Jim Carrey, Liam Aiken from movie: “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” is used in several aricles, including
and in my video in article Changing Our Thinking and Beliefs.
Eric Maisel talks about “letting go of correctness” in this video:
He says, “Most people actually need some bridge from their perfectly sensible daily way of doing things correctly to this different way being confident, bold and creative.”
[Also see multiple articles on Perfectionism.]
One of his books: “Mastering Creative Anxiety: 24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians, and Actors from America’s Foremost Creativity Coach.”
From book description:
“In his decades as a psychotherapist and creativity coach, Eric Maisel has found a common thread behind what often gets labeled ‘writer’s block,’ ‘procrastination’ or ‘stage fright.’
“It’s the particular anxiety that, paradoxically, keeps creators from doing, completing, or sharing the work they are driven toward. This ‘creative anxiety’ can take the form of avoiding the work, declaring it not good enough, or failing to market it — and it can cripple creators for decades, even lifetimes. But Maisel has learned what sets successful creators apart.
The image: “You Can’t Plan An Inspired Life” is from Facebook/Tama J. Kieves.
Tama Kieves is an inspiring example of someone who has overcome the pressures to keep following a path on which her high intelligence and capability gained her social and financial rewards, but at too great a spiritual cost because she was denying her creative passions.
Read more in my post Tama Kieves on inspired desire and new directions.
This image for a quote by Julia Cameron is from article: “In Others’ Words: Creativity” by Beth Vogt.
The full quote is:
“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.”
- From her book The Artist’s Way.
In addition to the books and articles mentioned above, there are many other resources – see the menu at the top of the page.
Beliefs about life and abilities affect our identity and self esteem, as well as how much we develop creative talents and pursue other interests. Here are two of many dozens of articles on my sites:
Getting beyond impostor feelings – Many talented and creative people experience limiting feelings and beliefs about themselves, despite their accomplishments.
Psychotherapist and creativity coach Eric Maisel is a major resource.
See long list of his books.
Learn more about his online class “How to Create Fearlessly”
- This is from ‘The Top 10 Big Ideas’ of the class:
“How you speak to yourself determines whether or not you will create. If you tell yourself that you have no talent, that you hate mistakes and messes, that you have no imagination, or that you’re too far behind and maybe even ruined, you won’t create. You must change and improve how you talk to yourself to have any shot at creating regularly and deeply.”
That link will take you to the Academy for Optimal Living site, where you can find classes by many other teachers.