This month I probably produced some of my best work for a long time. In fact so good it got widespread praise from my creative peers, perhaps the hardest crowd to impress when you are a creative.
This Is The Moment I'm Found Out
This morning I went into my studio, and after two hours of trying to get inspiration for the latest project, I sat there thinking 'who am I fooling?' Is this the moment I get found out for the creative fraud I am, was the work I produced my swansong and the last decent piece of creative output I'm ever going to do?
Yet again, I am facing the greatest challenge of my creative life, crippling self-doubt.
I posted this on my social media, mostly as a cry of exasperation
Summoning The Fellowship Of The Ring
Thankfully social media, (despite most of the criticism levelled at it) did a fantastic job of summoning my creative friends from around the world, that was my hopeful intention of posting this cry for help in the first place. Like a scene from Lord of the Rings and before I knew it creative forces from around the globe were at my side wanting to help me fight this curse.
Richard Hilton an enormously talented musician (and even nicer person) said
"perhaps being creative at that level requires NOT being creative at that level some of the time. It's hard to sustain it, both from day to day and across one's lifespan. If we look at the great artists, typically they had a particular period of their lives where they were most prolific and profound. Certainly, their work evolved across time, and one area of their history tends to be most fondly remembered, and it's usually not the last bit ..."
An equally gifted friend Carl Jacobsson wrote
"My personal belief is that this type of thing is a hangover from burning a bit too brightly, which is something that we creatives have the ability to tap into and do for a sustained period when we're in peak states. We may just have burned up some kind of neurotransmitter that needs to be replenished, who knows? You can choose to change your relationship with these feelings. Try thinking of this as a gift. If you didn't have these periods of self-doubt, you wouldn't continue to try harder to prove your worst critics wrong, most notably yourself. This part of you has been integral to that complex key of your success."
Producer Jack Ruston wrote;
"Anyone that doesn't feel like a fraud in our industry IS actually a fraud."
And many others left simple but encouraging notes of "join the club" or simply "Take some time off."
The Greatest Challenge You Will Face In Your Creative Life
The greatest challenge you will face in your creative life is moments of crippling self-doubt - moments that remind each one of us that we are human, and when all is said and done a mere mortal who sometimes needs to stop and recharge.
How do I I feel now? The same, there is no magic wand, but I'm glad to know that I'm surrounded by people who share the same curse and are there to support me when I need it.
Make sure you invest in friends so when you have those moments, you won't fight them on your own.