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First Quarter: Lessons Learned

Hi friends,

The project has been going for 3 full months now. This seemed like a great time to sit down and reflect on the project thus far and record what I have gained from it – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Like any journey, it’s had its ups and downs.. here’s a few of the bigger ones:

Creative Confidence:

When I first started this project, my only real goal was to do all the things I’d thought about doing for a long time. Pretty simple really. No fame or fortune or grand discoveries. Just the ole Nike slogan working here.

In just a few short months though, I’ve already realized that this project is going to leave me changed in a lot more ways than I expected. Much like the things I create, the project has become a part of me. It is something that belongs to me and something that no one can take away or ruin. It’s given me a confidence and deeper belief in my creative abilities simply by giving me permission to just do all these things. It has served as a sanctuary for my creative spirit – a place where I can play as a child does, without judgment or concern for how things will turn out in the end.

Creative Connection & Trust:

It’s also given me a new level of trust in my own creative abilities and in the abilities of others. And believe me, for a creative control freak this is a VERY new experience! For the first time in my life, I am really learning to let go and trust others to help me create things. Together we can create beautiful things and have such a great experience, but to have this requires letting go of trying to control it all. I’ve been practicing this sort of thing in other parts of my life for a while now – but never really thought about how control (or the illusion of it) hindered my creativity. February’s friendship project is where I learned about this kind of trust and creative connection. It’s probably the lesson I am most grateful for thus far, as it has really improved my creative relationships at work as well as in my personal life.

The Flow and what Interrupts It:

I’ve learned some important stuff about The Flow of Creativity in these few months. For one, it’s not always there.. but there are usually reasons why it’s not there. Some things flow inexplicably and effortlessly.. the ideas just appears and you know with all your soul “yup, that’s the one!”. Why does this happen sometimes but not others? I’ve found that, for me, the effortless flow comes only when I have managed to let go of my expectations, judgments, fears, and insecurities so that the ideas CAN flow and my creative spirit feels safe enough to even get excited.

When I find myself stumped and really struggling to get excited about any idea.. it always seems to happen because I am carrying around all those negative emotions while I’m trying to create. It just doesn’t really flow – it can’t. I start trying to control and strive for perfection. It’s as though I get so caught up in trying to find THE idea that my creative spirit cannot even get excited about ANY ideas at all. I mean really, how could it? I’ve totally terrified it by saying it needs to make something incredibly brilliant and clever (while also saying that I don’t really think I am that clever) and make something that everyone will love and that we cannot, under any circmstances, FAIL at this thing. Ick. What creative spirit would want to come out to play with all those rainclouds brewing overhead?

March taught me a lot about this. I created quite a hefty cloud cover for myself and my creative spirit. And no, she definitely did NOT want to come out and play. Thus most of the month was full of avoidance of the project and general stress and frustration. Looking back, It’s a bit disappointing to see how things took such a turn and I only now am noticing it. Short film was a scary place though – so it’s not surprising that I fell back into some old bad habits. But now hopefully I will be able to catch it quicker the next time around and remind myself: We’re not making things that are “good enough” or “the best” or “perfect” (ick) – we are making things we LOVE! Things that excite us and fill us with wonder and awe! And if the question is asked “What if we are the only person on EARTH that thinks it is cool?” The answer will be a resounding and most certain “That is precisely the reason that we should make it!” followed by a very sassy “I don’t care if they don’t like it – I’m not making it for them!” ;)

I could probably go on and on about all the awesome things I’ve learned through this project so far, but those are some of the more important points. Hopefully, a bit of this may help you on your own creative endeavors – no matter how big or small!

Sweet Dreaming (preferably with no rain clouds!)

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