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Jermaine Oconnor

5 CREATIVE DEMONS AND HOW TO CONQUER THEM by Jermaine Oconnor on September 7th, 2018

Creativity is something we all have and exercise on a daily basis. Whether it’s solving a sudoku, organizing your room, or choosing your outfit for the day – creativity is a part of everyday living. We are all creative. The funny thing about creativity is that as much as we use it in leisure or our daily routine, it’s not always there when we need it. We are often faced with challenges to bring it out and deliver on tasks and projects that are important to us. If creativity is common amongst us, then so are creative demons.

Creative demons plague process and productivity in many ways but I will focus on the 5 outlined in the book Make It Mighty Ugly by Kim Piper Werker and provide a tip for how to conquer each one. The purpose of this blog is to serve as a toolkit to not only reshape how we think about our creative obstacles, but how to outsmart them as well.

Fear of Failure. What happens if we do not exceed or meet expectations? Nothing but greatness. What’s refreshing about making mistakes is it allows us to find out what our best is.

Solution: Reflect, then fail anyway. Failure means you did something. We don’t get worse by doing, we improve by learning. Accept this and you will see how much potential there is between where you can be from where you landed.

Perfection. The pressure we place on ourselves is all imagination, what’s important is to value and embrace the process over desired results. You will find your confidence grows when you are detached from the work itself and simply create. Care more about what you are doing; care less about what “done” looks like.

Solution: If you find yourself obsessing over the details, make completion your priority then you can focus on refining the finished product where necessary.

Self-Doubt. The embarrassment. The shame. The criticism. We think we can’t and we tell ourselves so.

Solution: Show and prove to yourself by building credibility. How can we do that? Routine and repetition. Commit to daily practice. The more ownership you take over your work, the more competent you become. The more competent you become, the less doubt you will have because now you have proof.

Blocks. We have a tight deadline. freeze up. We can’t think clearly.

Solution: Make ugly things. In other words, make any thing. Throw things at the wall until they bounce back. Oftentimes, we are more successful this way than taking a break. So freewrite, ramble, brainstorm, doodle – whatever it takes. See where it takes you. You just might surprise yourself.

Procrastination. Putting off our main task, finding every reason not to initiate. Our projects can seem daunting because they are not only the first challenge we are tasked to face, but also the biggest.

Solution: Try completing other tasks to build motivation. For example, if you have a big report ahead of you, try warming yourself up by answering a few emails at first, then work your way up. Don’t think of it as slacking off, think of it as generating momentum and you’ll be on your way.

Keep all of these in mind when creating, but above all else, have fun!