I sometimes feel that my love for great inspirational work sometimes constricts my creativity. And then there are times when I feel I’m cheating myself and everyone else by being inspired by my idols. Everybody’s gotta be original right? I feel everything I create is well… meh in terms of creativity, in terms of impact – it’s mediocre at best. What’s the point of creating something that’s just not good enough?
I’m writing about this subject gravely because I know how its like to be someone who feels they have so much to give and still can’t get it all out there, despite their best efforts. Often enough you try so hard in conveying your messages that it becomes strenuous, calculated, unnatural and even vain. I am that person and its frustrating.
So, what ever on earth are we going to do about this impostor syndrome?
Do you ever ask yourself – “Is my work good enough? Am I true to myself? Or in my case “Am i selling out?” :p
Just in case you’re curious as to where I’m going with this let me tell you its substantial. A little while ago I found an amazing quote by Ira Glass on Goodreads . It sheds enormous light on this subject and has helped me loads with my patience. I can only hope you all relate to it if not be soothed by it.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” ― Ira Glass
In the end work should be healthy and fun… not drudgery! Most of us just want to be gentle with ourselves… but don’t quite know if ‘gentle’ is going to work.
Hope this helps. Let me know how do you deal with your creative blocks and if you liked this post. I’m always glad to receive feedback.