Having creative anxiety I’m no stranger to. My anxiety is not as bad as it used to be. I’m way ahead of that shit now and anxiety is basically my right hand man. It goes everywhere I go and when it starts to worry I tell it to chill, we got it and I get to work.
You have to let your anxiety know that you’re there too and you’re not going anywhere and that you have things to create. You have lives to change including your own. Acknowledge your anxiety like a person you care for. How does it make you feel? What are the bad feelings that you’re experiencing when your creative anxiety comes into the picture. You can’t defeat something you’re not aware of or refuse to acknowledge.
Here’s the thing about creative anxiety. If you have it, that means you’re serious about what creative endeavor you want to pursue. Fear and feeling worried about your creativity is actually a blessing. I was anxious as fuck when I started writing. I was very unsure about my abilities because I was a late bloomer. I was worried about failure, worried about success. Then I realized I’ve been writing my whole life. I always was a writer. I just ignored the signs. Majority of the people who are SUPER confident starting out usually aren’t real artists and probably do it for silly reasons. The reason your anxiety is going crazy is because subconsciously you know you have the ability and you know that this shit can get real. It shows that you really care and that you’re invested in whatever you do.
Why do you wanna do what you do? Once you have an honest answer. Keep reminding yourself of that answer. Think about the joy it brings you. The way it always makes sense to create no matter what type of day your having. You’re at peace when you are creating. Success isn’t that bad. Failure isn’t that bad. Either outcome you have to remember that you will be okay because you’re holding the dice. No one else. You dictate how you respond to your outcomes.
This is how I dealt and still deal with creative anxiety (Whenever it decides to show out). I’ll instruct you on what to do.
First thing you wanna do is meditate/pray before you start. Anxiety has your mind moving 200 miles per hour. Your mind has to be still. Your body has to be still. You have to bring yourself back to peace and ease. Cause anxiety is nervousness. Calmness is what’s going to bring out the best out of what’s in your mind.
Think about a black woman. Any black woman. Thinking about black women makes me smile. I think about my mom when I create sometimes and how grateful I am to have her. I think about all black women and how intelligent and unique they are. I admire black women more than any being other being on this planet and their feelings and opinions matters the most to me. They inspire a lot of my creativity. I don’t feel any anxiety when I think about black women while creating things.
Then I usually put on some music. I usually play rap in my car but when I’m in the crib I may play 98% of anything else but rap. I throw on some Jamiroquai, Grover Washington, N.E.R.D, Sade, Roy Ayers, Led Zeppelin. I think about how I know they have anxiety about the music they create and that I’m not alone and legends go through it too. I just let the music soothe my soul. I low-key don’t even need any weed. I usually don’t write high anyway. I know I don’t need trees to bring the best outta myself. Music is a HUGE factor in calming down my anxiety.
Next pretend like you’re a kid. Think back to your childhood. You’re a kid again and you’re standing in front of a blank, clean white wall and you have a fresh new box of Crayola Crayons with the sharpener on the back of the box. Your parent(s) just gave you permission to write on the blank wall. A child’s dream come true. As a child you’re not gonna think about what you write on that wall. You’re just gonna be excited as fuck that your parents are letting you draw on the wall. You’re just gonna start and not worry about the outcome because as a child your curiosity is what fuels your imagination. You just wanna see the colors on the wall. So you draw and scribble regardless if you know what you’re doing or where you’re going. You just wanna create. As we grow into adults we lose this gift year by year because of various internal and external factors like caring how we’re perceived, what people think of our work, Impressing people, overthinking, and all those factors combined morph into our anxiety and then if we don’t know how to deal with the anxiety then the anxiety leads you into depression. We lose that curiosity. We lose that playful skill of using our imagination. When you’re creating go back to being that kid that can draw on the walls or pieces of paper. That is the purest form of creativity. It is your creative freedom.
Creative anxiety will also stop you from creating because you will beat yourself up about not being great yet. Everything not gone be fire. You gone make mid. You gone make bad things. Everybody won’t like everything you create or what you’re apart of. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Keep fighting. Keep shooting. This is where skills are honed at. Through errors. Through mistakes. Through failures. The bad happens first before the good. That’s how creativity works. Some people may get skillful quicker than you but you not supposed to be watching them anyway. Whatever you thought the outcome of what you’re creating would be will not be what you envisioned. It never happens like we thought it would happen. The special creatives keep creating despite that and they become legends. They worried about getting shit done until they become good and even then they’re still trying to get shit done. They don’t have time to trip off how good they’ve gotten.
The last thing I do to get my creative anxiety to chill is gas people up but really mean it. I compliment my friends work. I compliment strangers work. It keeps my ego in check. It inspires me to create dope things too regardless of how my creative anxiety makes me feel.
Get all those ideas out of your head. You run your creative anxiety. Not the other way around. Create something.
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