For the past fortnight I’ve been trying to write a blog post. It’s sitting in my drafts folder, unfinished. It’s a post about how I accidentally started a daily art practice & I’m keen to share it with you. However I’ve lost track of the number of attempts I’ve made trying to write it. Three, four? Every attempt I’ve made at getting it right has fallen short.
I shouldn’t be as surprised by this as I am. My anxiety levels have been high lately so it makes sense that I’m struggling to write. In fact most of my creative endeavours over the past few weeks have been lacklustre. Mostly I’ve felt like I’ve been fighting against the thing I’ve been trying to create. More often than not I’ve questioned why I even bothered trying to make something in the first place. Eventually I realised that my creative fight tracked alongside my heightened anxiety levels. My problems aren’t caused by my sudden inability to create but rather are an extension of mind’s inability to stop racing with anxiety.
Even writing this short post has been hard. I’ve deleted sentences, saved the draft & gone off to read some emails, only to come back to this & still not be happy. And delete more sentences. But at least I know why I’m feeling this way. And I know this feeling of being unable to create will dissipate once I’ve taken the steps that I need to help ease my anxiety. In the meantime, I’m trying to get better at accepting that my creative output won’t be what I hope it will be.
You might be wondering why I’m writing this, if I’m not convinced my words are worth sharing. Well, for two reasons. The first is that writing this helps me accept that it’s ok to not be perfect. The worst that can happen is people get two sentences in, hate what I’ve written and move onto something else. Which is totally ok with me. The best thing that could happen, which is also the second reason for sharing this post, is that my words, however imperfect they may be, might resonate with someone. That someone might even be you. Perhaps you too know the sudden feeling of not being able to create the thing that usually brings you joy. Perhaps your anxiety might be higher than usual. Oftentimes these two things together will make each other worse. That’s ok. Work on the anxiety. Let the creative outlet go for now, or accept that it might be harder than usual. But that’s ok too. It won’t stay that way forever. I’m telling myself that when I’m telling you that. And that it’s to not be ok.