Welcome to How to Keep Writing Wednesdays, where you'll find a boost of encouragement to help you keep the words flowing.

Creative Injuries

Was there a time in your life when you considered yourself a creative person? Were you teeming with ideas or finding small inspirations everywhere? Did you dream of writing a novel or screenplay, of starting your own business, of traveling the world? It could have been something simple—painting your room a new color, highlighting your hair, or playing the ukulele for the first time. Maybe you tried it and it didn’t turn out as expected, or people laughed and you felt embarrassed. Maybe someone said you were no good. They told you to give it up, to get serious and pull your head out of the clouds. As a result, you’ve shied away from anything creative.  

If this has happened to you, you are not alone. It’s called a creative injury, and it’s what happens when inspiration or creativity is cut short. People tell you that you’re no good, and you believe them. Your creativity is nipped in the bud before it has a chance to bloom.

Creative injuries do more damage than we realize. Losing or silencing our creative side cuts us off from possibilities. Life feels harder, more frustrating. We’re less tolerant of ourselves and others. 

Our creative spirit does more than help us type words on a page or throw paint on a canvas. It keeps us open and receptive to solutions we might not otherwise see, helping us become more of who we really are, not less.

Creativity is about exploration and expression. It’s about connection. You can’t fail at this. Really. And you need your creativity. It’ll get you out of a miserable relationship, it’ll fuel your desire for fun, it’ll help you make a contribution to the world lives beyond you. 

Every person is born creative, and it’s up to you to discover your creative gifts, interests, and passions. If you’ve suffered a creative injury, you need immediate creative healing. It may be uncomfortable for a little while, possibly even painful depending on the extent of your creative injury. Your brain will switch into alarm mode and come up with reasons to abandon these creative efforts.

Stay with it.

Take a class, in person or online. Read a book. Watch a how-to video. Keep a journal. Sketch, paint, work with wood or clay. Make up something wild and crazy. Pin up pictures that inspire you, that make you feel good, that get you thinking and motivated. Ignore people who make you feel bad or who scoff or limit your creative efforts. Excuse yourself from their company as quickly as possible. Make it a priority to nurture yourself back to creative health.