Being Creative Takes Courage and Perseverance

I can sure relate to this cartoon as I'm sure you can, too. How many of us feel that way when we set out to do anything creative? 

There is that initial surge of enthusiasm and energy when we try to get our wonderful idea out of our head and visualize it, whether it's a drawing, painting, acting, writing or music. 

The hard part is when the inner critic (or Abuse as she's called in Hilary Price's cute cartoon) arrives and starts to poke holes in it telling us how bad it is. 

It certainly isn't made any easier when we have people being indifferent or critical about our great idea. All of a sudden, self doubt sets in and all that enthusiasm vanishes. Maybe it was a crummy idea and why bother?

How do we overcome all this negativity and persevere? That's the challenge of the creative person and one well worth tackling. 

I think we have to remember why we're being creative in the first place. If people like your work or you make money from it, that's great but you can't depend on that all the time. I think you have to love doing it first of all. You need to remind yourself of why you're creating to sustain you through the rough times that come to every creative person sooner or later.

I had a Eureka moment several years ago that being creative was part of me like my red hair, bad temper and overly sensitive nature. 

When I went through hectic times where I couldn't express myself creatively, I would often feel robotic and drudge like. Now I see that creativity makes me feel whole and is essential for my overall health and well being. 

Yesterday I did my first portrait/life drawing class in over 30 years as I haven't done any since the 1980's as part of my graphic design course. I must admit I was nervous when I first arrived as I've been carrying around an old story in my head that I can't draw realistically and not to bother. "Just stick with your cute cats and girls in puffed sleeves, Cat," the voice would always tell me in a condescending way.  

I felt a bit stiff and unsure doing my self portrait from looking at myself in a mirror. As the class progressed, I felt more relaxed and I think my drawing loosened up, too. Here is one of the self portrait sketches that I did. 

The people in the class were very friendly and welcoming. There was no pressure to compete and no worries about getting a good mark. The teacher was helpful in her criticism, but not mean and destructive like other teachers I've known in the past.

How wonderful to take a class for pure enjoyment without worry of the outcome and I made some new friends, too. 

Overall it was a positive experience and I look forward to rekindling this love of drawing that I've had since childhood. 

It's never too late to start again with a fresh perspective!


  1. This is so true, Cathy. Great post! I gave up writing back in the 70s, because the constant rejection wore me down - one of my biggest regrets in life. You are wonderfully creative and talented, no doubt about that! ☺

  2. Excellent post, Cathy - thank you. I'm going through a creative slump myself, so I appreciate your words of encouragement and wisdom. So glad you enjoyed your class - and I love the sketch you did. Well done!

  3. Hey, Cat, that is such a lovely portrait you made! And, no, it is never too late to begin again....So, go ahead and make the most of it. May the force be with you! :-)

  4. I gave up writing many years ago, then blogging came along. I'm all too familiar with Ms. Muse and Ms. Abuse! After sitting on the sidelines for several years, I started blogging in 2009 and have never looked back. How wonderful that you have taken up drawing. It's never too late - think of Grandma Moses. Good for you! Alana

  5. That's a wonderful portrait, Cat! Wow! You sure are talented and creative!
    I liked the perspective you shared. Just yesterday, I trashed a half written post, only because, I felt it was not shaping right!

  6. That is a beautiful sketch. Keep at it Cathy.
    The muse is with you.

  7. I have found to be truly happy I have to stoke that creative fire but, I have found it is best not to force it. That will only drive me insane. So if I am not feeling it, I don't do it. I walk away and do something else. As the years have rolled by I have accepted the fact that I simply am not an everyday writer...and that is the way it is.

  8. That's great! And I love your picture. Very good.

    I think we just need to remember that no one is perfect, and we can only try to improve. And trying it the hard part, but things will eventually get better. Shoo away, Abuse! No place for you here!

  9. Kathy you have drawn a very beautiful sketch.your creativity is very much intact.Keep it up!


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