Creative block has many names and many scary metaphors we connect it to many things. And we can all suffer from it. There are many reasons for it. Today I want to address one very crucial one.
I hate being criticised and judged. Nay, I fear it! But there is a judge/critic in myself who is constantly getting better at judging what I do. And as I get better at it, the critic in me gets better at criticising it.
There is a fracturing that happens in your writing/creative personality when you are nearing the next stage in your creation. Right before your breakthrough, you will feel it coming.
It will come as shame, guilt- what they really are is the critic in you judging you critically. And your doubts will mount. Your weakness will be more visible. Because the more time you spend perfecting something the better you get at it. And the better you get at it, the better you can see your faults. Because only in the light can we see the dark spots clearly.
And this clarity can cripple you. It can destroy you. Especially if you don’t learn from it or understand it. We judge more harshly when we know more. But to hone on to what we know and keep knowing even more we must keep going despite seeing the glowing imperfection.
It's a paradox we live with!
Here is why we do it:
Reward Seeking: We are designed to seek rewards. If we have made a couple of very good compositions and start getting comfortable writing good pieces, our expectations from ourselves will rise! And for that, we will keep cornering ourselves whenever we are not doing good enough.
Self-replication: We want to replicate success. If I make a couple of paintings that are to my liking I will try to replicate my success in the next painting too. This is what we are designed to do. That is how we function.
But the real reward is being able to be playful and have fun and grow.
If you become afraid of being playful. That is when your growth will stop and all will break apart! You will criticise yourself more and create less. Because that critic knows that the creator is not right and the creator is limited by that knowledge of being wrong.
If you let the critic win you will stop growing. Don’t self-sabotage, keep learning, growing and perfecting.
Because perfection is not static it's constant growth. And being perfect means constantly growing, and constantly growing requires you to be playful.
In conclusion: be patient with yourself, keep going and remember there is a break before every breakthrough.