To be creative is not for the faint-hearted

Creativity takes courage – Henri Matisse

I believe that wholeheartedly. Countless times, I’ve emotionally voiced the following words: “I haven’t drawn in so long. I miss it.” But did I follow that up? Did I do something about it? No. I continued on not drawing, and I continued missing it. But why?

I did not have courage. I did not have the confidence to pick up the pencil and just start. In the back of my mind, a seed of self-doubt was planted. A fear sprouted, grew its roots deep into my thoughts, and spread its toxicity ensuring I’d never believe in my capabilities again.

I was scared that I’d lost my talent.
I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to create pieces to be proud of.
I was scared I’d disappoint not only myself but those around me.

There comes a certain pressure once you put something out in the world. Something that is purely yours. Especially when you receive praise and reassurance for this piece that you nurtured and worked on for however long. This certain pressure to impress, to amaze, to out-do yourself – honestly, it’s daunting; tiring. It makes me overthink and when overthinking happens, natural creativity is stifled. There comes a certain fear that others will reject what you share, will dislike what you do and the feeling of failure will take its place. When you put something out in this world, you’re providing a window into who you are and what you are to your core. It’s another type of vulnerability altogether.

I have come to realise that my creativity no longer stops at my ability to draw or paint or print or play with mixed media, but extends to my words and how I articulate my thoughts. I never pictured myself as a blogger, let alone a freelance writer but it seems my life has taken a different course. And for right now, I really don’t mind it. It allows me to be creative. I have courage this time. I have confidence. I’m not scared to put this out in the world.

If you’ve experienced these fears, pressures and have encountered the same obstacles, I can only encourage you to keep going, to keep striving. Each and every one of us will feel these doubts sometime in our lives but the only person that can turn it around is you. Improvement is something we all strive for, but how does one improve if you don’t try first? Don’t stop doing what you love.

By no means am I neglecting my drawing. Not at all. I still have every desire to keep putting pencil to paper, brush to canvas. I’m just mustering up my courage, building my confidence. Maybe in the not too distant future, you’ll see more than just words from me.


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