October 15, 2013 Christi

What Makes Me Mad: When Creatives Are Beaten Down

At Wordstock panel, 10/6/13

It makes me mad. In fact, it downright pisses me off.

When creative people are beaten down, bludgeoned, criticized. It is an ugly thing when beautiful geniuses are chastised for coloring outside the lines, for laughing too loud, for crying too much, for raising their voices in song or poetry.

And they listen to this criticism until they fall silent. And stop playing.

When the critical voice – I call him Dr. Codger – gets in your head, and tells you to shut up, or sit down, or put away your paintbrush, or promises you that you can’t, I want to wring his neck.

That’s what I find myself doing as a writing coach: throttling the tyrannical critic. Defying all those negative messages creative people have heard throughout their lives.

I listen to the creative person who says, “I used to write. I can’t anymore. I don’t know what happened. I just don’t think I’m any good now . . .”

And I pay attention to the artist who says, “I just can’t seem to make time for myself.”

And I draw out the entrepreneur who whispers, “I really want to write a book. But I never thought I had the talent.”

And together we get angry at the critic, at the lost chances, at the ruined happiness. And together we recover what is rightfully ours.

My next class starts October 26, a series of three Saturday morning workshops that will release your anger and passion along with your creativity. You will be able to obliterate these destructive messages and start creating again.

I would love to see you there, at Rouse Portland!  (Scroll to October 26 and click for details.)

Whatever is going on for you right now,  do this with me . . .

Get mad.

Next time you hear those messages, defy them. Get your fists up, get your art ready. Rise.

Do your creative thing anyway.

Photo by Chuck Pierson.

Contact Christi