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Embracing Even The Pain of the Creative Process

Ray Eames workspaceIf you are a creative person, you are compelled to some extent to engage your mind and talents in doing creative work, despite setbacks and frustrations with the process.

Author Mary-Elaine Jacobsen notes,

“Beyond producing objects of value, the gifted create for the sole purpose of creative expression. They need to create and are rejuvenated by it.

“They often do so whether someone asks them to or not, regardless of payment or recognition, chiefly because they enjoy solving their own puzzles independent of external influence.”

From her book The Gifted Adult.

[You may be gifted, even if you don’t recognize you are, or maybe don’t have the “sufficient” level of IQ – see the page: Self-tests: giftedness / high ability.]

In the video below, psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel comments about some of the challenges of being engaged in creative work:

“Lots of people would say that they love the creative process and that they want to honor the creative process, but actually the creative processes is the kind of thing which is really difficult, to spend a lot of time doing something and then discovering that you’ve made a big mistake or a big mess.

“It’s one thing to make a small mistake – everybody gets over that – but if you’ve spent two years writing a novel or a year writing a symphony that didn’t come alive, most often a person is going to say to himself or herself, ‘I have no talent; I’m stupid; I don’t want to do this again.’

“They don’t quite get that that’s the process. So what really honors the creative process is having, beyond an intellectual understanding of the necessity of mistakes and messes, a deep visceral sense that it’s okay to make mistakes and messes.”

Video: Honoring the Creative Process

[His reference to “messes” reminded me of a photo collection of artist workspaces – the one above is the studio of designer Ray Eames (wife of Charles), from the article: 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative.]

Concluded in Part 2.


Embracing Even The Pain of the Creative Process

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2013). Embracing Even The Pain of the Creative Process. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Oct 2013
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