On Wednesday, I wrote about the challenge of getting started on something we dream of doing. It seems crazy to resist something we really want to do, but it happens a lot. This morning, I remembered a quote that was a huge help to me the first time I encountered it, because it showed me why I was so terrified of failing.

Of course you’re scared. Writing really matters to you.

Julia Cameron in Finding Water, p. 15

I hadn’t realized that the more we admire an art form, the more fear it brings with it.

The things I love the most — writing and drawing/painting — are also things I revere. I adore the moving writing and breath-taking paintings of others. When I sit down to do them myself, I become paralyzed with the fear that I will make a mess, goof up, even insult my beloved art form with my inept performance.

But we can’t make art without making messes. We can’t get good at creating without practicing. And we can’t grow without making mistakes along the way.

I’m embracing the imperfection of growth and learning. After writing about getting started on Wednesday, I actually did it. I got out my watercolor paints and started experimenting with the supplies I have.

Testing watercolor paints and papers… and I’ve already learned a lot!

I’ve started at last. Now the challenge is to keep going.

Do you love something so much you’re afraid to start? How do you get yourself moving?

2 thoughts on “Afraid to Create? Of Course!”

  1. Ooo I LOVE this! It’s something I’ve been thinking about more lately because, well, things aren’t going too spiffingly. I’ve lost a lot of the interests and hobbies I used to have, perhaps in part due to depression. I want, or feel I should, try to get back into them, but the joy or desire isn’t there, and I’ve only got limited time where I’m capable of doing much because of my health, and when I’m just about capable I spend that time working and catching up. The other side is the whole perfectionist tendencies, the way I know that whatever I do – writing, art, craft etc – it’ll be rubbish, so why bother? It’s been like a brick wall in front of my face for a long time now and I need to face it head on and smash through it, even though I’m not quite sure how. This is great inspiration! xx

    1. I’m so glad you find it helpful! I can relate to your challenges — I have chronic health issues that keep me from being able to do all the things I would like, so I often have to make do with doing what little I can. Having that kind of limitation can make it doubly annoying when you aren’t doing the things you want to. Make your efforts about the process rather than the product, and have fun!

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