I just caught myself. I wrote about what spoke to me this week. I liked the topic – too much. And the last couple times writing went well – too well, so my expectations were a thing. I ended up stuck. Disconnected. I blamed being tired.
But actually, my own perfectionism got me. I wanted to like my own writing. I wanted to get attention. I wanted it not for myself – not to express my art anymore. I wanted it to get validated. To gain something I couldn’t actually influence.
And this is usually the point where my art quits. My muse goes elsewhere.
I feel bruised. I feel the aftereffects of trying to force myself into the container of likeability and external success. I used to not even be aware of this – Instead I would feel blocked, sometimes for a couple days, but usually I would end up in a vicious circle, hurt myself for weeks if not months on end.
I’m really present to how blocked I used to feel, utterly puzzled why it happened again. I used to get *completely* *utterly* *extremely* disconnected from *any* creativity whatsoever. I never realised it’s Mr Perfectionism sneaking back in after a while, so well camouflaged I didn’t even notice.
Even what I write here feels really tender right now. The voice of reasoning is back on loudspeaker, telling me how pointless this is, how no one is going to like it, and how it’s going to hurt my career. I let it back, enter my mind, my thoughts, my writing process.
And you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay to be bruised once in a while. I get the voice. It has helped me many times in my past – navigating a world full of expectations. That is, if I choose it to be. I choose no longer into fulfilling others’ expectations of myself and there I am.
I am even going to hit publish, because I think it may serve someone after all. Someone who feels just as blocked as I used to, blocked, puzzled, helpless and desperate. I am grateful I’m not stuck there anymore. And I want the same for you.
And the “how to” is deeply counterintuitive. It’s about letting go of the manifold expectations we aren’t even aware of. And even if I speak about external ones, they might have been, but we have long since internalised them, and shoved them into the subconscious – thoroughly.
So what do you do, if you are a stuck creator?
It’s simple yet so difficult. Go out there and do something. Sit with the resistance, the fear, and do it anyway. For a couple minutes, that’s enough. Just (re-)create a tiny habit. And don’t make the mistake of pushing your own voices away. Let them have their place – just don’t let them take the driver’s seat. Also: Don’t get discouraged if it works. It’s probably tougher than that. Need help? Don’t hesitate to hit me up – I feel you 💖