[ i should be working harder. i should be doing something more creative. i should have more plans and goals. // creative bloggers on anxiety ]
How many times have you thought these thoughts? Lately a couple of creative people I admire have revealed their deeply personal thoughts on anxiety, creativity, and self-employment.
The first person is Bri Emery, founder of designlovefest. She writes about reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, and the flood of thoughts and realizations the book unearthed in her. For example:
incessant planning, working, social media, and keeping a full calendar was just me trying to numb my insecurities and fears. i think to myself often “i should be working harder. i should be doing something more creative. i should have more plans and goals.” I have such high expectations for myself and the people around me. i still haven’t figured out exactly which feeling i’m numbing, all i know is that it’s happening. and i should try to dig deep and think about how to fix it.
The second person is Craig Pedersen, my dear friend and co-conspirator. He has been writing a series of posts on anxiety and creativity in the wake of his decision to seek therapy to overcome daily anxiety. He writes about how therapy has started to change his relationship with his creative process and with music. In Creative Process and Anxiety 4: Staying on Track, he writes:
Most of my therapy sessions begin with me talking about things I have become aware of: this makes me anxious, that makes me anxious, I had a memory of this being a time where this anxiety started etc. When I do this, my therapist says something along the lines of: “great, but awareness isn’t the only step. I believe that in order to change our negative thoughts and emotions, we must change our behaviours too.”
How do you cope with anxiety in your creative life?