Not always a winner
I joined in on #The100DayChallenge from Elle Luna and the great discontent. (I'm sharing on instagram under my personal account @janerb3) Working within a challenge I get to regularly experience the mental muck that gets me blocked up like I had too much cheese. I am reminded daily of each of the mental hurdles of creating by participating in this challenge, creating daily, working within a theme or constraint, comparison and especially sharing on social media.
These are not new ideas or experiences that creative people experience. Really not even just "creative" people suffer from this mental muckery. Anyone doing anything, sharing, creating, making, doing or being anything out in the open can suffer from these same issues.
I'm creating something each day. Every. Single. Day. This is not a new experience for me. I used to create every day but it wasn't always shared, wasn't always new and could be destroyed without delay. This challenge asks you to post your daily creation each day on instagram. This means that the 30 minutes I have to spend on a creative act must be captured and shared. It is akin to taking a selfie while talking and finding that you have your mouth hanging open and one eye closed in at least half of them. It is a showcase on the proof that creative action isn't perfect. It isn't always easy and not everything is instagram or pinterest worthy. They are not all winners and knowing that and seeing it firsthand are two different things. I know it and yet this is my thought process as I see my imperfect art unfold before me...
alright time to create before the kid wakes up
no seriously, get to work
ok, this is fun
I like this color
I could try this, but... I have to share this today
that is too risky, might be junky
oh geez I totally messed up that eye
dang it, maybe I can crop really close
this isn't doing what I hoped
I bet this won't get many likes
my colors are muddy
well this looks ok, I like this corner
I could keep going but I'm out of time
here goes the photo...
eek, look how pretty her feed is
mine looks like I just strapped my camera to my dog for a day
oh well, who cares I have like 2 followers
maybe tomorrow will be better
everyone else must be a better artist
they all have beautiful art and photos
... and so on until I step away or check my thoughts
This is a dictation of my thoughts (trimmed down to spare you from the random thoughts like, what is that smell, can paint smell like that and so on down the rabbit hole of my mind). Do you see how limiting I am? How could a person enjoy this with so much pressure?
I've gotten used to the comparison monster in my mind and the fact that nothing is ever good enough. I had practice with it while showing and selling my art, but this could be a show stopper for those beginners out there. Paralyzing thoughts about what will be seen at the end of the day. I love the challenge because it keeps me going and I really do enjoy creating when I stop thinking so much. The only difference between me or anyone else in this creative challenge or others and someone trying to get back their creativity is that we keep going.
Don't stop because people are looking.
Don't stop because everyone else seems better.
Don't stop because your thoughts are cruel or limiting.
Keep going, show your audience that you can continue, show your comparison monster that there is room for you too, show your thoughts they are wrong.
Not everything is a winner but it will get you to the goal sooner than waiting for perfection.