Saturday, April 09, 2011

Creativity Killers

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."  Sylvia Plath

I have noticed a peculiar habit.  In the moments prior to clicking the send button to submit a new story to a magazine, I feel like the story is well-written, creative like no other.  The instant the mouse makes the click noise, I am convinced that the story is crap, boring and no one would ever want to buy/publish it.  Self-doubt at work.

I have spent a life trying to overcome the crippling effects of self-doubt.  As a drummer, I would crash and burn on drum solos.  As an actress, I'd forget lines.  I have seen first hand that self-doubt truly is a creativity killer.  The difference in the here and now is that I'm older, and I recognize that to be creative, a person has to flow.  And trusting the flow involves a certain amount of risk.  Scary, but necessary.

I've experienced the absolute power of drumming a solo that knocked people's socks off.  I have had a whole audience laugh at the right time, because of the delivery of my lines.  I know I can do it.  I just need to ignore the loud banging of fear and listen only to the still, small voice that says, "Yes, you can."

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