The Creative Journey - Overcoming Creative Blocks

Have you started your creative journal or any new project yet?  What's holding you back?

The number one creative block is fear of criticism or being judged by other people.  You may have had horrible experiences from someone's careless or mean-spirited comments that have left lasting scars.  And whether is was total insensitivity or deliberate cruelty, the experience is still holding you back.

Maybe when you start something new, the voice of that critic reappears or maybe that critic is still in your life.  Either way, the seeds of self-doubt are firmly rooted in place.  You can cut them down to get rid of them, but until you remove the roots, they'll keep coming back.

Other times, you may be moving along making great progress - then out of the blue, you're faced with a monumental road block.  Sometimes it's not really clear what is preventing you from going forward.  Today, I'll just focus on criticism.

Often, I have found that those that are affected by or sensitive to judgment the most are those that are very judgmental themselves.  More than likely, their voice has taken over for the original critic. 

Whatever the case, you may not be able to silence the critics, but you can try to desensitize yourself to it. 

I don't have a magic formula or easy way to achieve this.  I'm not a psychologist or art therapist, but I can tell you this:  If you are willing to learn what each of these blocked moments/periods have to teach you about yourself, and you are determined to overcome what holds you back, the voice of that critic (whether it's yours or someone else) will lose its power over you.

It's going to take a lot of work and self-reflection, but it's worth every minute of it if you can finally free yourself and live a creative, fulfilling life. 

This is where the Daily Doodle Journal can be an important tool in the learning and healing process.

Because doodling can put you into a more reflective, receptive state, it is the perfect medium to focus on the process of creativity or problem solving rather than the product or outcome.

And more importantly, because doodling is not perceived as a serious art form, there is less pressure on you to create what you consider to be a work of art.

This will be your process for working through issues.  Welcome the blocks.  You don't have to understand what you are feeling at this point.  Just acknowledge and take note of it.  If you would like to write about it as well, you can add it to your page or use another journal for writing.  The choice is yours.

Do this daily, if you can.  You may want to avoid this when you are stressed or unable to cope, but that is the very best time.

Try this exercise:

If you are stressed or upset - draw it.  Don't know how to draw? - feel it.  What does it feel like - don't think in terms of a picture.  It could be dagger-like lines, scribbles or just in big letters - the word, STOP or a big question mark!  Let your emotions come up.  Do not let your mind take over.

It doesn't have to be detailed and you don't have to spend a lot of time on it.  A couple minutes is sometimes all that it takes.  Do a couple more pages if you can until you see the look and energy change to a calmer feel.

Take a minute after you are finished to reflect on what was bothering you and where in your body you were feeling the tension.

Just promise to keep the momentum going.  If you dedicate the time to this, you will begin to see the change in your drawings and your confidence in your creative abilities.

Doodle when you're happy,
Doodle when you're sad.

Doodle anything and everything -
even if it looks bad!!!

If you would like more information on this topic, one of the best books I've read, is Point Zero, Creativity Without Limits by Michelle Cassou  The book is about developing your creativity and overcoming all types of blocks.  I highly recommend it! 

Happy Doodling!