“There, caught between the dream of action and the fear of failure, shadow [creators] are born.” — Julia Cameron
You dream of creating but fear failing.
You live through other creators.
You may be a shadow creator.
Does this sound familiar?
You engage with declared creators.
You admire and support their work.
You work in close proximity to them.
But you don’t share your own creations.
Shadow creators are true artists at heart but have yet to face their true identity. Perhaps creativity was discouraged at an early age by parents favoring more prestigious careers. Or perhaps they are ruled by a lack of self confidence.
Shadow creators cannot resist the attraction of creativity. And yet, they cannot fully commit to their dreams. Vicious words are exchanged internally for years on end over this covert failure. A happy facade often obscures the conflict within.
Not acting on one’s dreams brings terrible regret.
“In order to move from the realm of shadows into the light of creativity, shadow [creators] must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow [creators], learning to allow themselves to play is hard work. — Julia Cameron
Many pitfalls await those who seek the light of creativity:
Judgement of one’s first, tentative steps
Comparison against successful master creators
Exposure to “premature criticism” and “overly critical friends”
“Masochism is an art form long ago mastered, perfected during the years of self-reproach; this habit is the self-hating bludgeon with which a shadow [creator] can beat himself right back into the shadows.” — Julia Cameron
The mastery of one’s creative endeavors is no easy path. The journey requires great effort and countless awkward moments. To be a creator is to be exposed... vulnerable.
So what must YOU do?
Be a willing amateur in the beginning: one who loves to create in spite of clumsy thoughts and hands. Fellow travelers may lend strength, but permission must come from you and you alone.
If you are willing to stumble, fall and suffer embarrassment, then being a creator is within reach. Keep at it long enough, and you may become a good one.
What of the time it takes?
Find joy in each advance and much needed growth in the rest. Every step brings you closer to your birthright... to the creator you are destined to be.
🤔 Food for Thought:
Are you a shadow creator?
Are you denying your dreams while berating yourself for failing to act?
Are you ready to reveal your true identity?
⚙️ One Small Step:
One of your greatest needs as a creator is support. Don’t start your creator journey alone. Find people who will...
Nurture your dreams in the early days.
Instruct you in how to deal with resistance.
Protect you from harsh critics, including the one within.
And if you have difficulty finding these fellow travelers, reach out to me. There is always a warm campfire waiting to receive you with no strings attached.
Having trouble creating consistently? Join me as a founding member of the Co-Create Community and light your creativity on fire!