Hedwig zwart wit

Why is it so hard to finally use my creativity now that I can?

I’m in a difficult place right now. I can’t recall ever having been so disappointed by myself than I am now. The thing I am most upset about is that I have the time and the opportunity to do everything I wanted to do before, when I thought I couldn’t, but I still don’t. And by being mad at myself it’s like I’m sabotaging myself even more. All the energy I spend on worrying is much better of being spent on what I actually would want to do: create things. Write, draw, photograph, or creating a geometric figure with tiny little rocks for all that matters.

Seriously, why is it apparently so hard to just listen to yourself?

Even when writing this, and knowing I’m not native English, I am being too hard on myself. Thinking: will people understand my train of thought? Do I have to add more explanation to my problems so it’ll become more clear to others? You know what, I might just better stop right now all together, because how the hell am I going to make you understand what goes on in my mind?

Exactly that goes on in my mind, right now.

It sucks to be thinking so much all the time, to be measuring yourself and looking at what your endeavours might lead to. To always want to be busy with things that can be valued – by others, preferably. I have tried to think about what I’d like to do just for me, but I can’t think of anything. I love the idea of being some kind of zen master and be totally okay with what you spend your time on, even though it has no use or no one will ever get to see or experience it. But I’m not like that. Honestly, if I were to live alone in this world, I don’t know what I would do.

Focus on what you want instead of others

The other day I read an interview with a famous Dutch writer, Connie Palmen is her name. She was asked if she would still write if exactly that was the case: if there weren’t any people to read it. She said she wouldn’t. She loved the idea of people reading her novels, and maybe get inspired or at least learn something, or be entertained. I sighed in relief when I read that. That’s what I am like. But doing what other people want me to do (in other words: finding the most probable way of making money with writing, for instance) is exactly what I am trying to avoid more and more, by living the way we do. And I just can’t seem to find the path in between.

You’d maybe say: go on, just forget about it for a while, and before you know it that creativity pops up again and makes you do things you couldn’t even imagine. Or at least, you’ll feel satisfied by what you do. Just wait for the voice within to start shouting, and you cannot any longer ignore it. Well, that’s just the thing. I can’t ignore it – but I don’t know the solution either.

A voice from within tells me what I do is not good enough

On the other hand, that voice from within is also the one that keeps saying that what I do, isn’t good enough. People don’t want what I make, that’s what I keep hearing. Like, why would you want to read this negative rant of mine on how I can’t seem to find a way to put my creativity to use? On how I keep ignoring and sabotaging what I actually want to do? Although it could very well be another voice, I can imagine. One inspired by ghosts in my past, by people who gave the wrong example, maybe because they were insecure as well and felt that was the only way to hide it, to not go there at all.

There. In my mind that’s the place where I make a living as an author, as a writer, and not solely by being a journalist but also by publishing my more personal thoughts and views on this world. I’d like to think they add something. Not because I want to be heard, really, I just think that this world is made up of beautiful things and that everyone should make an effort into adding more beautiful things. And I think everyone is capable of that, in their own way. So, I happen to write. That’s nice.

In my mind it all works out and I maybe will never write a bestseller or get ‘rich’, but hey, living in a van I don’t need much either. In reality, I’m afraid people don’t care for what I write and I’d better just shut up. What provides me even with the idea that I could add anything that other people who already do, can’t? The nerve.

And so, I keep on spending a lot of my time fighting nothing and no one else but myself and that voice, that feeling, that is so focused on creative achievements and not mere fun – while I believe exactly the latter is the one that makes up the base of beautiful things. And I don’t know how to convince my mind how to think otherwise.

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By
Wanderer. Likes writing, and reading too. Prefers an analog camera over a digital one. Couldn't live without her gargantuan supply of different teas. Also known as Mother of Dogs.

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    • X
    • March 31, 2017
    Reply

    Een tip: stop met deze blog, stop met Instagram, stop met Youtube. Zet telefoons uit. Volg geen nieuws, politiek or whatever dat wat je gedachten beïnvloed. Gebruik je laptop alleen voor je werk en communicatie met jouw werkgevers. Net zo lang totdat je innerlijke rust gevonden hebt. Kijk in hoeverre je dan het idee hebt dat je iets mist. Ga zelf genieten van de landen, de mensen, de natuur, elkaar etc.

    Just my 2 cents.

      • Hedwig
      • April 3, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks voor het advies! Het ding is alleen dat ik ook voor mijn werk niet op die manier off the grid kan leven, en zelf wil ik dat eigenlijk ook niet. De innerlijke onrust komt ook niet zozeer van buitenaf heb ik het idee, maar meer vanuit mezelf. En genieten van alles probeer ik gelukkig ook al volop en met vol bewustzijn te doen, en dat gaat heel aardig. 🙂

  1. …Why is it so hard to finally use my creativity now that I can?
    Interesting topic. I am a published author (self bragging…I am sorry, but it has a relevans;) I have myself asked the question if I would have kept on writing if nobody read. (One can discuss if thats the situation for a lot of authors already;) but my answer is , definitely – yes. In my world it is about getting out inner thoughts. The creativity that you are talking about is not necessary a nice feeling, always. It can be a voice (as you mentioned) in your head shouting so loud that you have to write something to silent it. In my opinion you and your boyfriend is already beyond creative and have achieved more than most of us, by entering on a journey as you have. Lower your shoulders and keep on typing. As I can read from what you wrote in this post – your creativity is doing fine;)

      • Hedwig
      • April 3, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks Knut, for your take on what I wrote. I guess I’m on the right way. A friend told me it’s perhaps the demons in my head shouting louder than ever, because they know they’re about to loose the fight. Who knows. Maybe I should just keep on writing and not worry so much about what I write, and decide later on what to do with it. It’s just that, to me, it seems nice to be working on an actual project (like a book or whatever, at least something defined) in stead of just venting the thoughts in my head.

    • Anonymous
    • July 9, 2017
    Reply

    I just wanted to say that I feel much like this right now, and actually a lot of the time. It was good to read it from your perspective and know that I’m not alone in these feelings. So thank you for sharing.

      • Hedwig
      • July 22, 2017
      Reply

      You are not alone! Also, many advised me to take my time and see. Said that it’ll come. And I start to notice that. In this super hastily society we live in it’s just very strange to see how long something like that can actually take.

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