Do you stop too soon in the creative process?

Recently a young friend on Facebook posted the following quotation, and it has completely changed the way I think about my own creative roadblocks:

The list is simple and not at all scientific, but anyone who has ever struggled through the creative process (which is everyone, at some point or another) knows it is true.

Tiffany Shlain similarly writes of the “Confusion” stage of the creative process:

“Dread. Heart of Darkness. Forest of fire, doubt, fear… [But] as hard as it is — and it is really hard — any project … gets infinitely better after I’ve rumbled with all of my fears.” Read More

My insight is simply this:  Far too often (and this has happened more as I get older), for creative projects both big and small, I stop at steps two, three, or four. My mistake is in thinking that my feelings and doubts at that point must mean that my ideas aren’t worth pursuing, that they are laughable, embarrassing.

But what if everyone has those feelings and doubts in the creative process, and the only difference between those who finish and those who don’t is that they plow through their self-doubts, treating them as perhaps not just a nuisance, but necessary?

The next time we reach step four, we can celebrate rather than quit, because we will know we are almost there.

Photo by thecrazyfilmgirl CC BY 2.0 (white text added)
Photo by thecrazyfilmgirl CC BY 2.0 (white text added)

2 thoughts on “Do you stop too soon in the creative process?

    • It seems like such a simple idea, but it has really changed my perspective. (By the way, I really enjoyed your “Facing Facts on the Fifth” post!)

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