The Ultimate Guide to Staying Creative Through Fear and Doubt

How’s your week been?
It’s been a bit full on here, all week I’ve had a feeling of, ‘I must get everything done, time is running out!’ kind of vibe.

When it really isn’t, I’ve lots of lovely things in the calendar but I’ve also childcare planned and working time, so what’s the panic?

I suppose it just gets to me sometimes, another plate to spin along with all the others, and then I have to have a word with myself and remind myself that it’s okay.

That it’s fine to feel a little anxious at what’s ahead and breathe, and relax because if some things don’t get done, then they don’t get done.

And that is fine.

And that’s kind of what I wanted to write you about today, because this week is my first time doing something totally different.

If you’ve been following me on socials, you’ll know that I’ve been a proud affiliate for Lisa Johnsons, One to Many course. (That’s my affiliate link, just so you know)

It’s about how to create passive income, but I don’t want to talk to you about the course, I want to talk to you about the conversations I’ve been having with authors about it this past week, because they’ve been so interesting.

Don’t do it

I’ve had some lovely chats with fellow authors about how they can create another stream of income, from subscription boxes, to memberships, to bespoke journals and so much more and it’s been really inspiring.

But as well as encouraging people to join the course, I’ve had to tell three authors not to do it.

To take what they got from the free challenge and work with that.

See, I love this course, it’s changed a lot for me, but it’s an investment. And when I’ve been speaking to some authors this week about it, it was clear that it wasn’t the right time for them, and there’s no point in starting something surrounded in fear.

And I’m not talking about the giddy, nervous, delicious fear of doing something new that you’re excited about and can’t wait to get going with.

I’m taking about the dread.

The complete panic and not having the money to do something you’ve signed up to.

No one is their best self when fear of that kind is sitting next to them, and it got me thinking how, as authors and creatives, can we create when fear is around?

I know my anxiety has been a huge obstacle at times to my creativity.

Just after my last book was published, I took a huge knock from someone I really trusted at the time, and I think it was the best part of a year before I got the confidence back in my writing.

Say hello

The first thing to do is acknowledge the fear.

I tried to push my anxiety down for ages, but I think you have to kind of say hello to it and recognize how you feel before you can begin to work through it.

It’s normal to get anxious and a little worried, life is full of unexpected stuff and I don’t know anyone who floats through the days without a little bit of anxiety pinching at them, so it’s fine to say hello to it and know how you feel.

Be realistic

I’m waiting on edits from my agent and chances are they’ll land slap bang in the middle of the holidays.

It would be unrealistic for me to think I can get on with them, so I’m setting a realistic goal instead.
A couple of chapters, hopefully the first ten, instead of my usual, ‘lets get up at 5am and work through the night and smash this!’

Which I would do and then after a few days I’d be a nervous wreck and everything I’ve done is useless.

Embrace imperfection

I think a massive part of our fear as creatives, is fear of not living up to our own expectations.
We hold ourselves up to so much. As if everything we create has to be perfect.

One author I spoke to this week didn’t have the funds for the course and said if she did it, ‘I’d want to make my money back within the first four weeks.’

That’s a huge pressure to put on yourself! You don’t need that!

Go at your own speed. Be kind to yourself instead of beating yourself up.

It’s OK not to do everything and be everywhere. To be everything to everybody.

We need headspace to do what we do, so don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself if you can avoid it.

Keep swimming

Keep creating, keep going, keep showing up.

Even if the fear is telling you it’s not working, you can’t do it and the hundreds of other things it likes to whisper, just work through it as best you can.

It’s important not to let the fear stop us from creating.

I know it can be paralyzing and debilitating, but if we get lost in our work and use it as a way to escape the fear, to relax on the pressure and expectations we put on ourselves, to acknowledge the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, we can still create when fear and doubt rear their heads.

Have a lovely weekend,

Zoe x

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