Creativity Is Its Own Validation

Originally Posted: April 29, 2013

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard from a new workshop member, “I like to write, but I’m just not that good…” or, “I’m not reallya writer, I just do a lot of journaling…”

I try to remind these artists that a real writer is someone who writes, period.  It’s so easy to get caught up in looking outside ourselves–comparing ourselves to this writer or that one, and always, somehow coming up short.  This comparing and judging is just another way that our inner critic keeps us stuck, and silent.  Our deep fear is that we will waste our time in pursuit of something that won’t pay off…  That we won’t be good enough, or that we will look foolish to the world at large.

At some point, we must stop judging and measuring this passion and simply allow it.  When we let ourselves be written–when we surrender to the process and focus on what needs to be said–the next small scene, the next image or sense-memory or detail–then the thrill of creation becomes its own reward, its own validation.

I realize that much of what keeps me blocked is this feeling that I’ll never be good enough, that I’m not yet a ‘real writer…  But ironically, the writers I know with 8 published novels and several awards–the ones I constantly compare myself to–also feel this way!

Of course we want to be good at this, but greatness really comes from opening to a larger truth, not from self-punishment and criticism.

If I wait for the world to validate me and give me permission, I will never write the next chapter.  We can’t search outside ourselves for what can only be found on this most inner journey.

Creativity is a wildly defiant act!

Posted by: Dori

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