I recently listened to a TED talk by the author of the book EAT, PRAY, LOVE. On publishing the book, Elizabeth Gilbert’s became an overnight best-selling author, her work successfully produced on the big screen as the movie we know it to be, starring Julia Roberts.

Elizabeth is exasperated with the pressure she feels is on her new works to be just as successful as her best-seller, for her to avoid a major career face-plant. It’s here that the conversation gets interesting…or just weird. Depending on which way you look at it.

Elizabeth starts to talk about the idea of a ‘genius’: a mysterious ‘thing’ responsible for the ideas and imaginative thoughts that are dropped into our minds. She claims that this creative genius is responsible for our ideas- and not us.

Mystical Creatures Chelle? Really?

Ok. I know it sounds fluffy- but stay with me!

I think creative blocks are less about the fact that we have “no ideas”….because we think a million of them each day! Creative blocks are more about the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves- or the pressure we feel is being put on ourselves from those around us- to have to produce something “successful” instead of something authentic and good.

When we tap into our ability to imagine and create (which is something we do SO much more than we think we do!) we rarely do it with the intention of just us in mind. Most of us create things to be enjoyed and appreciated by ourselves AND others- which could be why creative blocks happen.

So what do I do Chelle???

Ha. I heard your thoughts scream a mile away. Just chill.

No- seriously. Chilling here is the key. Go out for a walk. Take a breath- take another breath! By stepping back from our situation, we gain perspective. Stepping back is something an artist often does- not because they tire from say, painting, but because they become so engrossed in what they’re creating, they could be missing something vital if they don’t step back to see the whole picture.

I know. It’s tough. But, at the same time- it’s so stinkin’ simple! Whether we believe it or not, our life is to be enjoyed and appreciated at whatever age we are, and in whatever we are putting out hands and heart to achieve. If you’re having a mental block, a creative block, a writers block- try take the pressure of yourself in having to produce something that’s “successful” and focus on what you can achieve that is authentic, good, and completely and utterly you.

Rachelle Dusting

Practising Artist