Creativity Blocks #001: Fear of Ridicule

There are many blocks to being in your creative flow.

Here are just some of the things that stop us in our tracks:

– these are of course all subjective perceptions and can be dealt with and removed relatively easily.
In this series of short blogs, I’ll explain a little about why and how these issues manifest and give some simple tips to get around them.

The Fear of Ridicule

This is really common. The best way to avoid being ridiculed for your creative output is not to generate anything at all. Our unconscious minds protect us from harm by inventing loads of ways for us to avoid being ridiculed.

Signs that this is happening in your life are:

  • Procrastination
  • Being a busy fool
  • Loads of half written manuscripts, unfinished sketches or musical samples

A classic trigger for this might be a teacher marking down an essay you wrote at school or you forgetting your lines in a school play. I did this in a nativity play and got demoted from Jesus to an innkeeper and then from an innkeeper to an angel without wings on the back row of the chorus.

As a knock on result, I used to have a repetitive dream of freezing as the lead guitarist on stage when playing with Pink Floyd or The Who. Since I eventually played a solo classic guitar piece at a local arts centre, the dream has not returned. When I released the audio version of my first book, I allowed that classical guitarist to come out to play.


Putting Your Head Above the Parapet

The simple way around this fear is to start creating and ‘publishing’ small bits of work and discovering that you don’t get shot down in flames.

The good news is there are loads of really good, free and supportive places online to do this.

For writers:

Your blog

Tweet a story or sample chapters on the brilliant Twimagination

Or submit your whole story to somewhere like Authonomy

Or throw all caution to the wind and just publish on Kindle Direct Publishing

I did this for my proto-novel Soulwave and the first reviews have encouraged me to dust it off and finish it …

For musicians:

Publish samples on Soundcloud

or AudioBoo – I love showcasing talented (yet shy) musicians on The Zone Show

or of course YouTube – see this Mashable blog on artists picked up on YouTube

For artists:

Post your material to TwitPic

or artist communities like the appropriately named FoundMySelf

or why not sell your art using sites like ImageKind ?

So, in summary, there has never been a better time to flex your creative muscles … so get creating and posting, you never know who might spot your nascent talent …
P.S. some of these links are blatantly self-promotional – please add your examples below and links to any sites you use !!
P.P.S. For cases of deep trauma though, these techniques might not work so do get in touch as this is what I specialise in dealing with.

Steve Taylor : Out of the Darkness

One of the best things about being an author is getting to talk to other authors – especially those writing in a similar field to you.

One of the writers I have admired for many years who has been really generous with reviews of my books is Steve Taylor.

Even more of a coincidence is that we’re both Manchester lads exploring consciousness and what it means to be human.

So I was thrilled to speak to Steve recently for my Moments of Light show on Barefoot Radio about his new book, Out of Darkness. Naturally, we covered the others too … namely The Fall, Making Time and Waking from Sleep.

Useful Links

Steve’s web site
Steve’s books

Finding your thing

Lucy WhittingtonMany of us go through life feeling we have much to offer but we somehow miss the mark. Our brilliance is not appreciated – our just rewards don’t seem to come our way.

Lucy Whittington has found her ‘thing’ and that’s to help others find theirs. I know how well what she does works as she nudged me up the ladder by quite a few notches in my thinking last year. My sights are not only much higher and my feeling of self-worth stronger but I am also much more confident and focused than ever nowadays.

Listen to my latest Moments of Light show on the Barefoot Broadcast to hear how you too can go about ‘finding your thing’ and fulfilling your destiny delivering what you were born to do.

Related Links from the show:

Become a Business Celebrity

Your Star Value – free teleseminar

Carl Munson’s Barefoot Broadcast

140 Characters: a style guide for the short form

If you thought Twitter was a fad or a nuisance, let me disavow you of that notion – it is a pretty useful tool for both business and pleasure and it’s here to stay.

For one, I have had direct business solely from Tweets and found the most perfect iPhone app developer from a single Tweet – I think you will agree, that is a pretty useful use of a few seconds of my time.

By osmosis, I’ve learned how to make Twitter work for me and how not to get addicted to it. You would think there’s not too much to it – it’s only 140 characters after all – how hard can that be?

My old guitar teacher told me, “It’s not the notes but the gaps in between.”

Well my world has just been turned upside down and exploded this week after I downloaded the iPhone app version of 140 Characters: a Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolla – one of Twitter’s progenitors.

I was glued and read it in one sitting.

Not only is the book one of the best manuals you will ever find for using Twitter properly but Dom is one erudite and intelligent chap. His understanding of human language, semantics and communication is outstanding.

I so wish I will be able to write a book as intelligent as this one day.

The iPhone app version of the book is pretty neat as it is embedded with rich hypertext to take you right to the resource, people and example tweets that Dom refers to. You can even interact with the content which incidentally is updated regularly too.

The book is full of brilliant humour (or is that humor) too of how to and how not to Tweet. There are some real corkers and my Tweet stream might become a whole lot more interesting as a result of reading it.

Dom is one Twitter expert who really does know his stuff – he was there from the ground up and user number #009. Once you read this book you will be able to spot the real gurus from the fakes, also rans and wannabees.

His vocabulary is also amazing and I was reaching for my dictionary app more than once.

If you still don’t want to read the book, here’s a quote from the book to summarise its essence.

“Do fewer things better”

The book is a snip at only $4.99 for the iPhone but well worth the $12 or so if you want the print version.

Get the print version on Amazon here …

Get the iPhone app version here …

As a result of reading it, I for one am now not hanging about on my next book – it’s going to come out this year – in print and as an iPhone app in this form as I am inspired now more than ever to do fewer things even better ….