20/11/2017

The Curse of a Creative Block - An Honest Post


As I sit here at my laptop, for the first time in over a year with the intent of actually producing some creative material, still I am not quite sure what I'm going to write, how it's going to turn out or, whether in fact I'll even be brave enough to click publish after all this time. It's taken me just over 3 hours to even begin these few words; my laptop was switched on at 10.30 this morning, with my blog page up and running, eagerly awaiting something, anything, to be written on it. Somehow, there seems to have been an abundance of rather unnecessary things that my brain has deemed more important to achieve before settling down to start something that actually, my heart deems important. And even now, whilst writing this, I've checked my phone, for nothing in particular, countless times already in this short space of time. Creative procrastination is something that I seem to have been battling with for quite some time now. I am more than capable of getting on with daily life admin, chores, mundane but necessary errands - I tend to busy myself frequently with that side of things, but the idea of settling down with a cuppa and my laptop to do something enjoyable, for myself and my wellbeing, has completely thrown me for the past year and a half or so. Bizarre, right!? You would think that if anything was to be put off it would be those boring jobs, not vice versa.

I used to adore blogging. I've wanted to get back into it for such a long time now, to get that creative side of myself back up and running once more. I've had the best intentions of doing so. I created a pretty little alcove where my desk resides along with all my notebooks and visual bits and pieces. Almost every evening I think to myself "tonight I'll do it, I'll just sit down once Theo is in bed, leave all the tidying and chores and just get on with it", but it never happens. I know I do owe myself some credit; the past 18 months have been tough dealing with a relationship breakdown, three house moves in under a year which were far from my choice, the day to day struggles and financial pressures of being a single, working Mama and a few other hurdles along the way. Something had to give and that was my creativity. However despite all of that, I'm constantly feeling like I'm letting myself down and constantly feeling like an underachiever - other people are able to hold down a job, raise a child, maintain a household, a social life and run a successful blog/ keep their creativity alive, why on earth can't I!? And then of course, I get myself stuck into a rut with these negative thoughts and it becomes a vicious circle of nothing being done about it. I've recently been introduced to the Psychological theory of Cognitive Dissonance, which if you are not familiar with, in very simplistic terms is basically when humans rationalise their thoughts to make themselves feel better about certain decisions. It's pretty much human nature and something we all do, without really realising it. (If you're a bit of a Psychology geek like myself and fancy reading up on it, I'd urge you to do so - it really is fascinating!) Since learning about it, I recognise myself doing it All. The. Time. Although the above are all very valid reasons for my blog/ creativity/ whatever, to have taken a backseat, I can't help but feel I'm holding onto those factors as a persistent barrier to being able to accommodate my creative juices the ability to flow again.

What if I have to move again? I won't have the time, headspace or energy to put into doing anything remotely creative if I have to endlessly search for somewhere new to live yet again..

I don't even know where to begin - I'm so out the loop with the whole blogging world! Will people even care that I've started it up again?

Theo starts school next year, I want to spend as much time with him as possible and savour every moment before he begins full time education - I'd feel guilty if I'm dedicating some of my time to my own wants and needs!

There are so many incredible blogs out there, mine won't even compare, I'm not good enough, what's the point!?

I'm in a different place to where I was when blogging before. I still love fashion and pretty things, but not enough to write about it all the time. I want to write about more meaningful things, offer a more personal spin with my writing. But I'm too scared to bare my soul and put myself out there!

Even if I did get my mojo back to start the blog up again, there's so many things I want to change - the name doesn't fit in with what I want to write about anymore, but I haven't found the right replacement yet, I can't start anything until I've sorted the basics out first!

There's too many things I want to achieve, I can't think about writing silly blog posts that don't matter or mean anything, I want to go back and study something to enhance mine and Theo's future, so I can't do both!

What if I start something but can't finish it? I'm afraid of failure.

I'm far too tired to even begin thinking about sitting down to write something.

These are the thoughts that have been swirling round my head with a vengeance, for the past year or so, whenever The Blog topic pops into my brain. Cognitive Dissonance at it's best my friends!! After I became a Mum, I swore to myself I would keep my blog going, to keep that part of me alive and not just be Mummy all the time. And I did, for a while. But I think even long before the life hurdles came my way, I was starting to fall out of love with it all and lose my way a bit. In hindsight, I think a lot of that came down to yes, undoubtedly and unashamedly tiredness and adjusting to my new role as a parent, but mostly, my creative side began to dwindle due to feelings of inadequacy and thus the dreaded ComparingYourselfToOthers cloud took up residence over my head. Recently, I spoke with our life coach at work, who gave me such clarity and insight into my own thoughts, I realised that I was really mourning the lack of 'doing something for me'. I knew I had to get it back, for my own, inner happiness. So I set myself a challenge, to overcome all those barriers I had been restricting myself with for so long and gave myself a darn good talking to...

Ok, if we do have to move again, I will deal with it as and when it happens. There's no point worrying about something that may not even occur and waste precious time and headspace by doing so. I've got through it before and I will again - this is not an excuse!

You've got to begin somewhere - just DO IT! Yes, people may well not give a damn I've started to blog again, but, YOU will care. You're not doing it for anyone else, you're doing it for you!

Seriously, this is such a lame excuse! You know full well you give your time wholeheartedly to Theo on weekends and during holidays to make him happy. You have the evenings to work on yourself. Since when should anyone EVER have feelings of guilt to satisfy a passion in their lives!? You are still a human with wants, desires and ambitions that need to and should be fulfilled! A happy mind = a happy Mama after all.

Take a long hard look at yourself please. Yes, there are thousands of incredible blogs out there. But so what!? The internet is big enough for one more. Stop comparing yourself to others and just do what makes you happy!

This is a natural development of getting older and becoming a Mum - the blog content is something to explore further but the hardest part is just starting. The rest will follow. And you yourself enjoy reading more personal posts, so who's to say other people won't enjoy yours!? No one ever got anywhere in life by cowering away in their comfort zone.

Again - this will naturally begin to evolve once that creativity is all riled up again. What's the point in waiting for inspiration to strike if you're not doing anything to inspire yourself to begin with!?

You need to stop trying to do so many things at once and think it all has to be achieved RIGHT NOW. Because then nothing happens, because you overload your brain with too much. Concentrate on once thing at a time, put your all into that and when the time is right, move onto the next goal.

Surely it's better to have the knowledge that you have at least TRIED, rather than giving up on something before you've even given it a chance to succeed...? 

Seriously. Just DO IT!

So here I am, just doing it. It's far from the most creative of posts, it's not packed with beautiful imagery or funny anecdotes, but it's raw and it's honest and it's come from the heart and already my brain is brimming with ideas for new posts. And it feels blumin' good.

If anyone can relate to anything I've written with regards to that dreaded creative brain block and lack of motivation to do anything about it, I truly urge you to just clear your mind of all the what if's, the overanalysing of everything, the comparing yourself to others and whatever it is that you love doing, just for yourself, your own inner happiness -

Just. Do It.

3 comments:

  1. Welcome back lovely! I hope to see lots more from you chick xx

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    1. Ahh thank you so much my lovely!! Yes I'm planning on making it a much more regular thing :-) xx

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  2. Yay! Welcome back! A lovely honest post is always refreshing and if anything it sounds like you’ll have so much to write about!

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