Mondays with Meg: When Creative Juices Run Dry

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” - Joseph Chilton Pierce

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” - Scott Adams

Just the other day, I struggled to start a creative writing assignment for a class. My creativity was in hibernation, unable to be jostled out of a deep sleep. Creative writing was placed on the back burner as other endeavors—academic and otherwise—became my new focus. Taking the “right” classes, applying for internships, and getting involved on and off-campus became my main obsessions, as I was trying to build the “perfect” resume. I thought that my artistic endeavors could wait, as my resume became the center of my world.

When I came to college, I realized that my writing wasn’t the best. I took the occasional creative writing class here and there, attempting to keep my hobby alive. I read poems, short stories and essays that were beyond anything I thought I could ever write. I lambasted myself, and managed to convince myself that I was a fool for thinking I was ever good at writing. I told myself that I was simply a big fish in a little pond back in high school. My writing couldn’t ever live up to that of my peers, so why bother?

I’ve let fear rule my life, and at 22, I don’t want the rest of my life to continue this way. I stopped writing—writing creatively, writing for myself, writing silly little poems in my journals. I just abandoned my passion, all because I felt like my ideas weren’t good enough. So when it came time to write for my class, I struggled with picking up my pen.

I hate failure. It has stifled my creativity, holding me back from taking risks and trying new things. My fear of failure, combined with my super-intense academic drive, prevented me from doing things that I loved: drawing, arts and crafts, dancing, acting, music, writing, reading…the list goes on. My GPA became my priority—which is fine, in some regard. But it was my only priority. I’ve let being a student define my whole personality, dictating every choice I make.

Creativity is key for innovation and change. But being creative also means being open and willing to make mistakes. Nothing is ever done perfectly, and it is rarely done well the first time. I’ve played it safe these past few years, preventing myself from making mistakes, but also from making huge discoveries. Failure and success go hand in hand—you can’t have one without the other. A life without creativity is bland, boring and colorless. I’m ready to put some color back into my life. So this week (at least this week, hopefully longer!), I’m determined to write in my journal every day. It may not be the best writing in the world, but it’s all mine.

Tell me—how do you express your creativity? How do you conquer fear?

-Meg :)

-Meg Rindfleisch
LeadHer™ Intern, Campus Calm
Learn more about Meg here.

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