Go ahead, be creative

Doing something creative can be scary if you get caught up in questions about the outcome:

What if people hate it?

What if people think I’m weird or inadequate or silly or stupid because of it?

What if I’m NOT adequate? If I can’t fulfill my vision?

What if I do all this work and no one pays me for my creation?

Questions about the outcome and fears of the future can smother your creative spirit, preventing you from enjoying the process or even ultimately completing the project you’ve worried so much about. People can’t make fun of you for creating something if you never create it, right? You’ll never know you can’t achieve your vision if you never try to make it reality, right?

If you never reach out, you’ll never touch anyone. You’ll never inspire anyone. You’ll never learn what you can accomplish. You’ll never share the creative light that shines only in you, that is uniquely yours. You reduce your own life as well as the lives of those you might have enriched.

If you give up on being creative, you’ll miss out on what creating brings to you as an individual: the satisfaction, the joy, the thrill, the sense that time stands still, whatever it is that calls to you through the medium of words, visuals, sounds, tastes, textures. Don’t discount the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual currency that comes with creation because you worry you won’t get a monetary reward.

But what about those scary questions? Stop asking them while you’re being creative. Enjoy the creative process. Revel in it. Reap the benefits that come along with the act of creating. Make something that you like, that pleases you. Then you can decide whether you want to share what you’ve done. If you do, and others aren’t drawn to it, your creation will still have the value of the pleasure and added value it provided to you as an individual.

Every creative person in the history of humanity made mistakes, “failed,” and disappointed or displeased someone, even creatives who ended up with great acclaim. Be creative for yourself, and recognize the reward in that. Where things go from there is not entirely in your hands.

What do you fear would happen if you were creative? What would you do if you didn’t listen to those fears?