My latest non-fiction title, 10 Things to Forget: to be Creatively Free was a blast to write. On this blog, I’ve been writing on topics that didn’t make it into the book. You can read the other posts here.

Forget Flow
The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity.
Even a dead fish can go with the flow.
Jim Hightower

Flow is wonderful.

Flow is when you’re creating and every moment is bliss. You feel alive, wonderful, powerful. Your creative ideas flow forth without limit or effort.

Except when they don’t and then you’re stuck.

Relax. That’s normal.

Too often we forget that being a creative can be scary. Feeling insecure, terrified even, is part of the creator’s life. Some creator’s don’t feel this–I’m not talking to them.

I’m talking to you.

You’re the one trying something that hasn’t been done before. Or has been done, but not in the way you’re doing it. Or you’re replicating something that hasn’t been seen in awhile.

The person who is trying to exceed her grasp. Who is scared that the brilliant idea you have won’t work.
Yes, you. I’m talking to you and telling you to keep at it–bit by bit. It’s okay if you can only attack it for small moments at a time before you need a break–to take a walk, do the laundry, go shopping, or go to the fridge (um…but watch how often you’re there or that can cause another problem). Yes, I hear you…

“It’s not working.”

Keep going forward, or make a U-turn and try it from another angle.

“I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Most of us don’t, we learn by doing. The answers will come.

“Maybe I’m no good at this.”

It’s too soon to tell, keep going.

“X did it better why should I even try?”

Because you want to? Isn’t that enough?

Just because you get stuck, hit a wall, feel inadequate, realize a project’s more difficult than expected, doesn’t mean you’re not talented, that you’re a fraud, that this just isn’t you.

It means you’re in the creative forest with just a flashlight and all you can see is your next step. And all you can do is keep taking steps– i.e. doing the work, trusting yourself–until you’re out of the forest.

This sounds simple, but many creatives get lost in the forest. Some for years. Others forever.

But not you. Step by step, you’ll make it out.

And it will a hard won victory and maybe only you will know the magnitude of your achievement.

But that’s okay because then you’ll know one core truth:

Flow is marvelous, but finishing is divine.

“Forget Flow” copyright © 2015 Dara Girard; Image copyright © 2015 by 123rf