Sometimes the pressure is so much that it feels like your chest is going to burst. Sometimes all you want to do is just sit and scream. Or cry. Or curl up in a ball and scream and cry at the same time.
Sometimes it’s all three.
When you’re a perfectionist and an artist, and someone who builds with words and their ideas and the pictures inside your head, the workspace can get overwhelming. For the most part, things are great – you love your work. The ideas flow out of your fingertips and you can see magic come before you. You can see your purpose before you, staring back at you in bold print or bright colors or the subtle of a photograph.
And you know you’re exactly where you are supposed to be, and that you’re doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing – because you can see it.
And then there are days where nothing comes. Where the words get so twisted that they don’t make any sense. When the canvas stays blank. Where what you make is crap, if you even end up making anything at all.
That’s when the creep starts to come – the slow start of pressure that starts from your toes and rests in your chest. Pushing so hard where you feel like you’re going to burst. You can feel it resting on your skin, it’s sitting there on the back of your neck, resting on the tip of your tongue.
The feeling that you’re not good enough.
That your ideas aren’t good enough. That you have no idea what you’re doing and you’re not supposed to be here, building things. Creating things. Making things.
The creep of doubt is slow and steady, and then, it the blink of an eye, it comes down all at once, punching you in the gut. And then it sits there. And then it lingers. And then all you want to do sit and scream. Or cry. Or curl up in a ball and scream and cry at the same time.
When you can no longer see your purpose, it becomes easy to doubt it. As artists, we are able to see our purpose in front of us – it is the thing we create, it in the joy and hope it gives to readers, to audience members, to those who consume our art.
But when we let the doubt creep in, it clouds that vision – and it is incapacitating at times. I get it, I do. It’s in that moment of cloudy vision that you must walk away for a second. Leave your work. Listen to a new song. Look outside at the sky. Move your body. Change your view, so that you can change your thoughts.
When you are able to leave the space in which you’re creating, you can find your way back to the space of creation.