The Beautiful Stepping Stones Along Your Creative Path

In the human species, after nine months of pregnancy, does the female give birth to a fully grown adult?

Let me explain the relevance of this to helping you be more creative! Being creative is a lifelong career, whether it is a career that we receive an income from or not.

We don’t become instantly proficient in the forms we choose to create in, it’s a gradual evolution, over months, years and decades.

Because of this, each new creative project we undertake is not only a project in itself, but the next step on our creative path.

image: saroy

Once we see it this way, then it’s helpful in that we reduce our expectations and the need to be perfect in everything we create.

Everyone has to learn and nurture their own style, step by step, project by project, and as we realise we don’t have to be highly accomplished from day one, it takes the pressure off.

As we said, women do not give birth to grown adults, it seems a ridiculous concept! And yet we except ourselves to be fully mature artists in a new medium only a few hours or days into exploring.

Whatever your natural talent, when you start creating in something new, you’re a newborn. Not a seasoned pro.

The steps you take along the way then, are learning steps. You go through your baby years, childhood, teenage years, into adulthood.

But that doesn’t mean these steps along the way have no artistic or creative value in themselves.

It doesn’t mean you should create in secret from the world, never sharing anything you’ve created until you believe your work is highly accomplished.

Quite the opposite. When we pre-judge how we think others will react to what we’ve created, we rob them of the opportunity to enjoy it, to be inspired by it. Plus we rob ourselves of the chance to receive encouragement and feedback along the way, rather than creating in a silent, isolated vacuum.

I had this made clear myself recently. I was showing two poems I’d written, one from many years ago, a very early work that I thought was very simple and primitive. I was comparing this with a poem from years later, that I believed was far more evolved and eloquent, and one I was really proud of.

I was surprised to find that just as many people enjoyed the early poem, as did the later one. In fact the reason many did prefer the earlier one was because it was more simple and accessible, and not layered in more complex strings of words like the latter one.

It was an eye opening lesson, that showed me that I’d been foolish to pre-empt how something I’d created would be received.

Each stepping stone along your creative path might not be beautiful in your eyes, but it’s most likely it will be in someone else’s.

Why create in secret, when your work could be inspiring and touching the lives of others along the way?

Be kind to yourself as you create, remember we’re all learning and evolving as we go. And share your progress, your beautiful stepping stones. They may well prove to be the stepping stones for someone else to create in new pastures they never before had the courage to try.

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