Archives for Personal Growth
How does fear affect our lives and creative work? Should we even try to "get over" the experience of fear? Actor Natalie Portman once commented: “Fear is intrinsic to everything you do as a creative person." Robert Maurer, PhD, a UCLA clinical psychologist, would probably agree. He has interviewed many successful actors, writers and other creative people, and researched social and neuropsychological aspects of achievement and creative expression for many years.
"I’m amazing for you, not because of you." Do you compare yourself to others, your life to other lives? That may be natural, even inevitable, since we live as social beings - but it can erode our self-esteem. Comedian, writer and actor Amy Schumer has related an experience that lowered esteem and confidence; maybe you can relate or find it is familiar:
"Writing is a path of profound self-awareness." Mark Matousek How can writing help us learn more about who we are, and release more creativity? One answer is writing can be a powerful tool for accessing our shadow self. “Creativity always requires taking a chance on one’s self meeting one’s unconscious, or shadow..."
How do we engage with life to be actively creative, but not overwhelmed by circumstances or inner challenges? How do artists think about using creative talents? Julia Cameron first published her acclaimed book on the creative life "The Artist's Way" in 1992, and has written many other non-fiction titles, short stories and essays, as well as novels, plays, musicals, and screenplays. A teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer and journalist, she clearly knows how to be creative and productive.
The photo is food writer and TV show host Nigella Lawson in her London library. She is author of multiple books and, apparently, a dedicated reader. What can we do to be more engaged and prolific in our creative thinking and work? Author and mentor Julia McCutchen shares a number of ideas in her article below.
What fears can interfere with our creative thinking and creatively expressing ourselves? “The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
What emotions and thinking may hold us back from being more creative? The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence article "Creativity, Emotions and the Arts" quoted in Part 2 talks about students holding back from being creative out of concerns "that people might think original ideas are silly" - but this kind of retreating from creative work can apply to us at any age. An example might be Joss Whedon - one of my favorite artists, who has credits as actor, writer, producer and director of movies and TV shows including Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse, The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. etc etc.
“I am the kind of person that feels so much that if I didn’t have acting (and music), I would burst from all of the emotion inside!” – Actor Gloria Reuben “I don’t like emotions… For some reason I’m more comfortable in imaginary circumstances.” – Actor William H. Macy Do you remember how much you felt and thought as a child? Probably a lot if you are creative, especially if you are gifted or highly sensitive.
Being creative is not some kind of personality trait; you need to have more than just creative ideas or innovative possibilities, you need to actually do something in the world: record that song, write a book or article, put together a smart phone app. As author and entrepreneur Seth Godin says, “What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship.”