Creativity in Accepting Failure

I started out writing a post about my brain and the fear it tucks away into whatever nook and cranny it can find for use at a later date, but then I got distracted.

“But Kat, whatever could distract you so much that you dropped off the face of the planet for two whole weeks?!?” my imaginary version of you may ask your computer monitor.

Well, let me tell you, it has nothing to do with the fact that I read fanfiction, got inspired by said fanfiction, and spent the last couple weeks writing 30k+ words of my own fanfiction (of which I’m currently in the editing process!) (and I did, in fact, do all of this because art inspires art, people).

It also has nothing do (LIES!!!) with me getting a drawing tablet (it’s SO FUN) that allows me to draw on my computer instead of my tiny phone screen! *screeches incomprehensibly* (but that’s for a later post!)

Needless to say, these past couple of weeks have been chock full of creativity and unfamiliar self-satisfaction. My creative block has been erased, blown up, smashed to smithereens. My hand has become steady with the pen, both in writing and drawing. My mind isn’t dashing from one place to another, desperately searching for distraction from the looming plot holes and unlikely artistic proportions I’ve created for myself. There’s no feelings of failure curled inside my chest, ready to strike the first person to touch it (it’s me, it’s always me).

Me, to my Creative Block

But what has changed? Nothing physically. I’m still the same ol’ me: sore after a good workout, ingesting large amounts of coffee and tea, reading anything and everything I can get my hands on… Yet sometimes it’s not what’s changed physically, is it? Sometimes what really drives change home is how you perceive yourself mentally.

The thing that’s changed? I’ve started to accept that I’m going to have bad days. Maybe it’s not a big change for many of you, but to me it’s monumental. I’ve always been one to wallow in self-doubt and founder in snafus. Admitting that it’s okay to be not good, or even bad, at things sometimes is uncomfortable and itchy, but I’m doing it.

And all the bad things that I just knew were going to happen once I admitted it mentally didn’t even come CLOSE to happening. Which, frankly, is a shocker.

Telling myself that it’s okay to take a day (or three) break from something I’m struggling with creatively helped shift my view on the matter. No one person can be ‘ON’ all the time, so why should I expect it of myself?

Accepting my bad days and creative blocks has given me an opening into a whole new part of the creative process. It won’t be easy (it never is), and I’m most likely to have some really horrible days where I’m super hard on myself, but now I know what it feels like to acknowledge failure. It feels freeing to find out I’m not the only one with off days (“Goodnight, you’re an adult, you should have known that already!” my imaginary version of you exclaims. I just reply with a shrug and say “Meh, it figures.”).

And the best thing about having this knowledge now, after years of struggling with feeling like a failure? It didn’t kill me, it’s only made me stronger.

Soon, I will be invincible!

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