On solving creative block

To those encountering someone who works in the creative industries:

The best antidote to self-doubt – and by doubt, I mean the crippling block of creativity that all writers and designers and programmers and artists assume will lead only to ruin – isn’t reassurance. Reassurance is just words; regardless of sincerity, the creative will see them as platitudes – flimsy and loose, like paper in a three-ring notebook.

Nor is it enthusiasm, sympathy or understanding. These often result in dismissal, resentment and further doubt, respectively.

Offer your trust, however, and things change. The minute you place your trust in a creative’s opinion is the same time those previous doubts begin seeming inconsequential. Silly. And then, just like that, they vanish.

It’s a play to the ego, in part. But more than that, it’s comfort in knowing our creative skills are still worth something. That we can still make a difference, and you’re willing to risk your own project to make it happen.

This was lovingly handwritten on March 10th, 2010