Worry kills creativity

In these uncertain times, I find myself spending more time worrying about what is going on (or not going on) in my daily life and unable to focus on my creative life.

My creative world, which offers such a wonderful diversion to the tense, uncertain, and stressful goings-on in my real life, has been suffering quite a bit lately as I worry more about paying bills and wondering what the weather is going to do then how my antagonists will fair in their latest battles.

I’ve always been one of those people who, when they can’t find anything tangible and real to worry about, will invent something just to have something to worry about. Creative writing has always been my stress reliever, focusing my mind on something concrete (in a way) and keeping it off all the what if’s that might befall me real or not.

Like I said, writing used to calm my worried mind and take me away from my real world problems, even if only for a couple hours. But lately, real world worries seem to have rooted themselves in my mind, sapping all my creativity while feeding my fears.

I recently read on another blog about peace. It was a great read and boiled down to the key to having peace is living in the moment and not let future what if’s and what may be’s take away from your joy and peace of the here and now.

The live in the moment statement is something I’ve heard over and over again for years, yet I still haven’t figured out how to work it. I just can’t seem to get a handle on living in the moment because I have a terrible time turning my mind off. Once upon a time, I managed a way around this, helping me to put my worries away long enough to at least get some sleep. Now, however, even that coping mechanism is failing me.

When I was younger, I worried about everything, my grades, my parents dying, my friends not liking me. It ate at me day after day, killing what could have, no, should have been happy times. This went on for a while until I discovered this magnificent coping mechanism. Each night before going to bed, I would close my eyes and tell myself stories. I could envision my characters, the scenery, the locations, and the dialog as if I were watching a movie.

Yes, in the beginning, I would focus on books, movies, or television shows I’d seen or read, taking well-known scenes and expanding them until the real show or book was no longer in evidence. As I got older, I began to make up my own stuff, no longer needing to rely on a ready-made scene to get the ball rolling.

In this way, I’ve been able to create some wonderful ideas while keeping my fear and worry at bay. And it worked wonders. Until this year. It seems like real life grew bigger than what my mind could create to contain and downplay it. Now when I try to use my imagination to create, whether on paper or in my mind, real life fears filter in, causing basically what is my own real life horror story.

Yet I know that I was meant to write. Maybe not publish, but write. Be creative, work my ideas. Spin tales like spider webs. I get enough flashes of it to know it is what I am meant to do. A dream I’ve been following since fifth grade, and, I am sure, will be following until my dying days.

I keep identifying problems that are blocking my creativity. Now I need to identify solutions so that my creativity will pour out again. I need to focus less on all the worrying and more on the writing. I can do this, I know I can.

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