Live Encore: Tools for Getting Your Creativity Unstuck | Nathaniel Drew | Skillshare

Live Encore: Tools for Getting Your Creativity Unstuck

Nathaniel Drew, Online Content Creator

Live Encore: Tools for Getting Your Creativity Unstuck

Nathaniel Drew, Online Content Creator

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8 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:51
    • 2. Everyone Gets Stuck

      6:27
    • 3. What is Creativity?

      4:59
    • 4. Getting Out of a Rut

      8:54
    • 5. Writing Out Your Thoughts

      6:50
    • 6. North Star Workbook

      4:34
    • 7. Q&A

      13:48
    • 8. Final Thoughts

      2:19
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About This Class

Explore different ways to get your spark back if you’re feeling stuck. 

Every creative gets stuck sometimes. It’s a completely normal part of the journey. But there are ways you can nurture your creativity and help return to your most inspired self during these times. In this 50-minute class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—Nathaniel Drew shares his experiences with getting stuck, and some of the tools that have helped him move past it.

Throughout the class, you’ll hear all about how Nathaniel thinks about creativity at a high level, learn about his experience taking a month-long sabbatical during a “stuck” period, and peek into his journal to see some of the exercises that help him out. Daniel will also walk you through a workbook designed to help you get started realigning your own creativity and getting back on the path towards your most fulfilled self. Students who participated in the live class were able to ask questions, allowing you to dive even deeper into this important conversation around creativity.

Regardless of what kind of work you do or how creativity fits into your life, you’re bound to learn some important ideas or helpful tools by listening in. 

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While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

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Nathaniel Drew

Online Content Creator

Top Teacher

Thanks to a very strange series of events that took place in our universe, I exist. It’s weird, I can’t explain it.

My interest in clarity and intentionality stems from a desire to take as much of it all (life) in while I can. I don’t want to get in my own way.

Born to two immigrants from Argentina, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.

I felt deeply unsatisfied with staying in the same place for the rest of my life, which is what pushed to spend as much of my time as possible doing what I call slow travel which is a more low-cost, sustainable way of spending time abroad.

This gives me the chance to learn the languages of the places that I’m living in, which I find extremely enjoyable and fulfilling.

A major motivation for me to p... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: I have definitely had periods just like anybody else, where I go through feeling stuck and feeling uninspired. This is just about the most normal thing in the world, so the more we can talk about it and break it down, the better. Hello. My name is Nathaniel Drew and I'm an online content creator, which is a vague term. That basically means that I create videos online as well as run a newsletter, and that is expanding out into other areas of the Internet. This class is about getting creatively unstuck, but for me to be able to break that down, I want to share my vision of creativity as a whole, as an entire lifestyle, if you will. Then go about diagnosing getting unstuck and how to go about it, the tools that might help to make that happen. I'm not here to give specific panaceas to all of your problems. I think that would be unfair to make a claim like that. But my hope is that after watching this, you can walk away with a better understanding of the process and feel like you're equipped with better tools to move forward. I would suggest watching this with a notebook, if you have one or just a sketch pad and a pen or pencil. I'm going to be going through some of my drawings and how I go about that, and there's also a workbook that we're making available in the class resources section that you can use, if you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the idea of starting with a blank piece of paper. Just so you guys know, this was recorded live so I was interacting with the audience. Let's dive straight into this. This is something I'm super passionate about, and I think there's no time to lose. 2. Everyone Gets Stuck: Hi, I'm Bagua and I'm a producer here at Skillshare. I'll be your host along with Nathaniel for today's live session. So Nathaniel, why don't you kick us off by telling us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Yeah. Welcome to my little, I don't even know what to call it, it's my apartment, my little fortress for this lockdown period. Basically, I have the incredible good fortune to be able to spend my time making videos and sharing my photography and sharing my written thoughts on the Internet. I would imagine most of you guys are. If you're familiar with any of my work, it's through YouTube, most likely. But that's definitely branching out. I have a newsletter, and I would love it to publish a book, but that's a really big endeavor. I think, more specifically my content is, it's hard to really put a category on what I do for myself. A lot of people would describe it, certainly last year it was much more around productivity and self-improvement and whatnot, but I've moved away from those labels. I don't really consider what I do that much about productivity, because I guess I get overwhelmed by deeper philosophical questions about what productivity even means, like what is it for? So it's a search for clarity and meaning in my life. I think the amazing thing about the Internet is that we can all do that now. It can be deeply personal and it can still speak to other people. There's people that I follow online that shared their lives and I take so much value from that. I know it's been a tricky year, but I must say, I think it is still really an incredible time to be alive with the tools that we have at our disposal. Yeah, absolutely. That gets me into some of my next question for you which was, as I mentioned, we're going to be getting into a workbook that you've created. We're going to be talking about what ways can getting stuck look like and what are some ways that you've found the way out of it? Really, how do you start to even ideate when you're in this place where it's like there's not one ounce of creativity in me in this moment? I've had that moments so many times this year specifically. But I guess for you, what do you hope when students come out the other side of this live session? They've gone through us talking through what is creativity when it looks stuck and when you're getting unstuck look like and we've gone through the workbook? What are you hoping they come out of it with? What do you hope they feel differently or they question differently, or they do differently and go to do their next project? I know this year has been tricky in many different ways for most people. I would imagine. My hope here is to maybe provide a little bit of clarity when it comes to creativity. I'm going to mention this later on and really go in depth. But I also get creatively stuck, feel down on what I'm creating or just don't feel inspired or don't know how to move forward or start spinning. I think it's just really important to start with that. Which is to say that if you're feeling stuck right now, it is so normal. In fact, it would be incredibly abnormal to not know what that's like. I would imagine most people here are interested in a live session about getting creatively unstuck because there's a desire to put something out there. I totally understand what that feels like and to want that so badly, and to not necessarily know how to successfully make that happen. It's a long process. Before I did content creation on social media, I worked in the film industry as a freelancer in a bunch of different roles as a PA, as an editor, as a gaffer, as a bunch of different things. Ultimately I was just led to wanting to create my own stuff because I felt unfulfilled like there was a deeper message that I wanted to put out into the world. I would imagine that's why most people are here. My hope really is to share with all you guys how I approach creativity in that it's so much more expansive. I don't think it looks necessarily how we immediately think of creativity. I think the reason why this is so important to me is because shifting my understanding of what creativity looks like for me removed a lot of the pressure and it made it feel less impossible and it made it feel like, okay, there's a lot that I can actually do about this. I would have loved, I say this a lot, I would've loved to make these discoveries earlier on. I guess it was part of the process, but there was so much needless butting against walls that I did, try to force things like torturing myself like I'm some sort of machine that can just pump out creative stuff. It's just not how that works. Also I think that developing the tools for understanding what's going on in our heads and developing the ability to navigate these ebbs and flows of life, it's going to be extremely valuable in the 21st century as we live in a really competitive world, and things are changing so fast. I find that these are tools that helped me sort of keep it together and know, like okay, I don't know. I don't have all the answers here, but I know what I need to do for the next month. 3. What is Creativity?: To start all this off, I think it will be really helpful to break down my ideas on what creativity is and how to conceptualize it. I am going to take a huge step back. We're going to zoom a way out. Because I think before I can even talk about what it's like to be creatively stuck and to get unstuck, like what that even means. I think it's helpful to share, once again, my vision of what creativity even is. The way I see things, things like creativity or education, for example, are these major things in my life that encompass my entire life. Creativity is a lifestyle, I think, and it's not just when you're sitting down and doing whatever it is that is the craft that you're interested in, so it's drawing or writing or creative problem-solving of some kind. I think creativity is a part of every element of my life. It is washing the dishes, it is taking a walk, it is getting the right amount of sleep. It's going on a run, it's sitting down and doing the work when I need to, when I have to, showing up every day, but it's also everything else. I think that's how I've come to this conclusion, because I started to realize as I create, let's say for example, a video on YouTube, it starts as this idea that has been sparked by something. Maybe it's a book that I was reading. Maybe the process starts with a book that I was reading or even before that, maybe the process starts with a recommendation I received from a friend for a book. That I then read, then sparked an idea that led to a conversation that I was stuck with until I went on a walk. Then I was like, "Oh, I think I get that." Then I sat down to write about it. Then I'm starting to create an audio visual experience of what I'm dealing with. Then that results in a video. What we think the creative process is, is just make the video or make the painting or make the essay. But that is just a disconnected view I think of what creativity is. It's everything. It's getting the right amount of sleep like I mentioned before, like seriously. I think I mentioned that because I would not give myself permission to do a lot of these other things that are really important for me to get to the conclusions that I want to get to, because I thought that's not getting the work done. That's me being lazy or me being distracted or me not doing what's important right now. I think as a starting place, just imagining how creativity can be a part of essentially every aspect of your life. The space that you give yourself to, have ideas flow, or the spaces that you give yourself to get those ideas out and I'm going to talk about that in a little bit because that's really huge. Just having ideas float around in your brain, I'll just speak for myself because I don't know what it's like to be any other human being. But for me, having ideas floating around in my brain, it's not enough. I can lose those thoughts or it can be frustrating because I can't see it with my eyes and analyze it. The process of externalization is huge. But I say all this to go back too. Now we have that definition of creativity. For me, what it means to be stuck is getting attached, it's like an expectation, attachment to a certain set of results that may have come about from actions that you took book before. You did something and it worked and it led to the results you were looking for. But getting attached to that permanently, expecting the same results forever. I think getting locked in on a certain way of how to approach something is where I start to feel stuck. It's something that I don't even know, I don't even see it coming. It's just a fact that it's like day in, day out, especially right now in this tricky time, if you're in a part of the world where there are restrictive measures, being in the same exact spaces all the time and just trying to plow through endlessly, that's where I start to feel stuck. It's because I'm starving out so many other parts of the process. 4. Getting Out of a Rut: Next, I'm going to go through how I go about getting creatively unstuck, and the things that I think about and do when I'm in that place. In the month of October, actually, I took six weeks off of social media entirely. That doesn't mean I stopped working. I'm incapable of just lying around tanning or sitting on my couch or whatever. I got to have to be engaged in something. This wasn't a vacation, but I did take basically a six-week break from much of the Internet, and that included not just social media, but also the new cycle, the endless doom scrolling. I took a huge step back from G-mail, just a lot of it. Because I felt everybody was screaming at me, all the battle for attention. Yeah, the battle for attention that exists in the world today. Taking a six-week break like that is intense. It doesn't have to be for that much time. At the beginning of this year, I took one week. I went to a cabin in the Pacific Northwest. Once again, I was still working, I was writing, I was doing creative work, I was painting. But it was just a period of time where I shut off that endless stream of input. That is the place I would start if you're feeling stuck. I'm not saying to go travel somewhere because that might not be possible. What I'm suggesting is some change of some kind, because to continually go through the same emotions all the time, when you're starting to feel worn down, if you're not listening to those signals, it's not going to resolve itself. I find it really helpful to, for example, if I'm feeling really stuck on a project, I might shift gears into a separate project, or I might take some time and read a book that is somewhat related or maybe not even. Maybe it's a fiction book and it has nothing to do with what I'm battling with. This can look like so many different things, and what I'm suggesting here is a change of some kind. It can be physical if that's possible, but if that isn't possible, it can 100 percent be the information that you're consuming, the spaces that you are spending your time on the Internet. Because the Internet it's like a digital extension to the world that we live in, and spending time in the same places. I found that places like Instagram can be very overwhelming, and it's totally okay to delete the app from time to time. It was scary to do. I think changes are always a little bit scary. You don't know what's going to happen. I was a little concerned that people would move on and not be interested in the things that I'm creating. But one thing that's helpful, this is a related five and we'll come back to getting unstuck. When it comes to creative expression and putting yourself out there, it doesn't all have to happen right now. It's helpful sometimes to take like the 40-year perspective, like the span of your career. I'm listening to A Move-able Feast by Hemingway. This is like 100 years ago, and he talks a little bit about Fitzgerald, and there's an artist that had absence flows in his career. We don't think about that because we think of these big names and they have all this success and whatnot, but that's just life. There isn't a person on the planet that has this perpetual growth, always successful all the time. Giving yourself the permission to be like, you know what, I'm not a machine. I can do a little experiment and take one weekend, I'll take this weekend. This weekend, I'm not going to be on any one of the social media platforms. I'm not going to be on WhatsApp or Gmail or whatever it may be. I'm going to create space for something else. Depending on who you are, and this is why I don't prescribe exact advice to anybody because it depends on your temperament, and your personality, and who you are. For me, just doing that creates a vacuum and that can be a little bit dangerous, I then need some projects. Maybe I just bought a Super eight camera, and I'm going to create a three-minute film with that this weekend, with all the time that I'm going to have not on all of these apps or whatever. I mean, there's no wrong way to go about creativity, but I think the experiment approach is so, so necessary. I love that idea of how do you find a big or small way to just shift something and provide a different space for your brain to interact with the world in a different way honestly. How do I just give my brain a little bit of a new experience, even if it's just a different experience when looking at your phone or a different experience of your entire day-to-day? Exactly. I mean, again, just a tie-in to that thought with creativity. Detox is a great example that are very relevant to 2020, I think. But in general, what I'm speaking on here is bigger than that. It's input in general, like what are you consuming and what are you processing? Any shift that you can make can change what seems like an impossible problem. If you're stuck on a creative issue and it feels impossible, shifts happening elsewhere in your life can have a ripple effect into the areas, and they might not seem related at all, and that's the thing. That's why I talk about this idea of creativity being lifestyle, it's like your whole life. It's because ideas are sparked from just random places that I can never predict. It's almost like strategically creating space for that. Yeah. One thing that you mentioned when you're talking about this session is that, there's usually an easier way. Creativity doesn't need to be a night fight. Yeah. I loved that. Do you want to talk about that for a minute? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I'm sure all of us have felt at one point or another, in that lightning strike of inspiration or it just feels amazing and you're just riding this high wave of whatever it is that your idea or your project is. I don't know, I get really excited, but you can never stay forever in that place, and that is a really good north-star to come back to. It's not realistic to expect to feel inspired at all times, but when things get to a place where you're filling ground down and it feels impossible, there is an easier way, I think. It might require taking a step back and finding a different path forward, but in general, that feeling for me at least, it's a reminder that creativity can be easy. It can be fun, and that you can't just necessarily call it on command, but when I think I feel like I've gone too far away from that, it's when I started to go like, "Hold on. Where am I right now?" Maybe there's some changes I can make to make this a little bit easier, a little bit simpler. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. 5. Writing Out Your Thoughts: Next I want to talk about the power of externalizing your thoughts and being able to see them and how I go about that. I wanted to propose another way of getting unstuck, I guess. This is another one of my tools in the toolkit. This is once again about externalizing and creating space essentially so that I can see what is going on in my head, to figure out what the next move is. This is just a little drawing. I'm a little bit extravagant with my titles. This is called Nathaniel Drew's Theory on Life As a Human. Being a little bit, once again, extravagant here. But this was just I had a thought, I don't even remember where or when. This was at some point in October, and that's the point here, that I don't remember when but I'm glad I put it on paper because I would have lost it otherwise. I just remember thinking, life is this circle that I've got here and it feels like it's filled up with these chunks that are, as you can see on the drawing; education, work, family, experiments, friends, health, fun. But there's all this extra space around those blocks that are still part of that circle. I call that the invisible time in your life for reflection, presence and everything else. My conclusion here is that when I fill up all of that time, all those little moments with things like social media, responding to email or multitasking or like constantly consuming, and I love podcasts and audio books and what have you, but constantly having input at all times because you can be. We live in a world where you can go on a drive or a walk or be eating or any other human activity and still be consuming input. When I fill every last square inch of that space, I stop feeling human, I'm feeling fried, I'm feeling this is too much. It's hard to recognize that because I have this desire to learn and I have this desire to listen to really smart people out there and I have a desire to take in the world. But drawing this out help me realize I'm actually taking in less of the world by overdoing it. I needed this space, this is like a key ingredient in my mental health and my well being and in my creativity. I'm showing you this drawing as well because I just made this up, this is just a thought that I had in my head and I put it on paper. There's no right way to do this, this is like the fourth version. I didn't take photos of the previous versions, I don't know where they are, I might have thrown them away which is terrible. I will not do that in the future. But maybe the first drawing was just a circle and then I had a few squares and then realized actually the squares are too big, I want to make them a little smaller. Essentially I'm drawing, and then redrawing, and redrawing these little sketches, takes 30 seconds, and refining the idea by first seeing it on paper. This is something I drew last night in a conversation I had with a friend. I'm calling this one Nathaniel Drew's Theory on how he processes ideas. All these are great names. Once again, I was thinking about how I work through my ideas in my life. I drew this timeline, that's the arrow in the middle, and then I wrote flow of ideas with an arrow. The shapes, the triangles, the squares and the circles are the ideas. It's a concept. It's almost passing through this, I call it the processing center, which is a period of time I'm processing an idea. It could be three weeks or three months as I wrote at the top. On the bottom, I give an example of one of those ideas, for a period of about a month and a half this summer, I became obsessed with the idea of curiosity. What is it? What does it do and how can it serve me? I think this was a natural reaction to feeling frustrated and maybe more than a little bit stuck due to the events of this year. I started consuming information about curiosity and reading books about it, and watching videos, and writing out my own thoughts. That was a period of about a month and a half and it passed through. I'm not thinking about curiosity in an intense way on a day-to-day basis right Right there's other things that I'm wrestling through. It's hard to explain this but it's almost like I developed a better understanding of the idea itself by drawing it out. Now I'm looking at it and I see it, and I can explain it to somebody. That helps me understand what's going on in my own head. By seeing this, it's strange because it's like, "Wow, all along I had the answers to my own issues or my own problems." But by seeing this and breaking it down, I can see where the issues are sometimes. Maybe looking at this, I could say, maybe I'm feeling overwhelmed right now because that processing center at the center of the little drawing that I drew has too many ideas at once. It can only handle so many at once. I don't know. But what I found is that if you can get that process going, it's almost like one thing will lead to another, that will lead to another and you just got to keep that chain reaction going. That's why increasingly, I will always have a notebook with me and whenever I feel that feeling like this is a moment of clarity that I'm having on this idea, I don't just take that for granted. I'm like, I'm going to write this down. This is part of my creative process. This is me putting in the work. This is me doing what I need to do to get to a place where I feel like I can move forward. I'm not saying this viscerally that a notebook and a pen is the way that will work for everybody, it could be in audio form, it could be in any medium. But I found that this is just the most versatile, it's so simple, there's no bar of entry. I don't know how to draw you guys, I am doing triangles and squares but it's what I need. It's a tool that helps me continue to move forward. This ties into the workbook which is meant as a little series of prompts that we can go through right now. 6. North Star Workbook: Now we're going to run through the workbook and the prompts in there, and just as a reminder, you can find that in the class resources section. This is my suggestion if you feel overwhelmed with the idea of taking a blank piece of paper and just trying out ideas. This was inspired by a little video I made last year called How To Create The Life that you want and Find Your North Star or something like that. Once again a series of suggestions here, If you're looking for a tool to just get this going, maybe there are questions that you don't usually ask yourself, or they're questions that may seem unbelievably simplistic and that's okay. You can't go to basic. It's just a series of questions about figuring out, writing things out and externalizing for example, on the first page, what matters to you and what doesn't? It's almost like figuring out priorities here. What excites you and what weighs on you. This is supposed to just spark a conversation, to spark an idea or to just get things on paper and to see clearly where your priorities are. It's unbelievably easy to get pulled into things that aren't actually our priorities. It almost sounds counter-intuitive to say that, how is that possible? But that happens all the time, and so writing this out, and I'm just going to go through really quickly the different prompts here. Figuring out your goals personally and professionally and separating them. There's prompts on each one of these pages and then figuring out your support system because that's really huge as well. If you have somebody that you can trust, to give you honest feedback, it might be hard to hear whatever creative project that you're working on right now. If you feel like you don't have that or anybody in your life that can do that, maybe that's the source of the issue right there. That you're feeling creatively stuck because nobody's telling you the truth about what it is you're creating. Figuring out who you are. Putting definitions in terms of input, what it is that you're inputting, what it is that you're reflecting on. This could be a list of the podcasts that you're listening to right now. Be honest, it's not the podcast your proudest to be listening to right now. It's all of them. You don't have the show this to anybody. This is about honesty with yourself. If you are unable to be honest with yourself, then that might be the source of being stuck. I do this just in private, and I oftentimes don't share this with anybody because I don't need to. Maybe I don't want to. But I think that being even with yourself about your situation and where you're at, that's the place to start. For me, in many cases when I'm feeling that feeling of like, I don't know how to move forward here. Once again, priorities and the concept of the North Star. Writing out it's just helpful even if I already know it and I can say it by heart, my North Star is to become the best storyteller I can be. Writing it out, seeing it. There's something about seeing it, and going all the way back up to the first page. The graphic is meant as a little reminder of how your starting point and where you're trying to go is really just a super windy path, and is going to take you places that you're not expecting. It's almost like the more open that you can be to those detours and the places that you are not expecting, the richer the experience can be. Then there's just a little quote at the end. If you don't know what you want, then keep trying stuff. None of us are born with this information. We are all in a dark room stumbling around until we find something. Place your resources into things that feel like they will be closer to where you want to go. Anyway, this is not something that you have to use as a resource, once again, I'm throwing it out there as a suggestion as a way to get started because I know how overwhelming it can feel to try to put a thought that you're wrestling with onto a blank piece of paper. 7. Q&A: Now let's open it up to questions from students in the audience. I do have one question that was asked a little bit earlier from Juliana, which is about this idea of compartmentalizing your creativity. She says, for example, I'm passionate about pursuing a career in law, but I also love film making. Do you recommend doing both at the same time or making one a hobby? It sounds like this idea of can I pursue both professionally? Or is there actually something good about choosing one path for your career and one path for your complimentary outside of job life? Yeah, it's a great question. I think that's interesting because law can actually be really creative as well. I think I took a couple honors law, I don't remember what it's called in high school, but you're making your case and presenting the information. It's requires a ton of creativity. That's not really answering your question, but it builds off of my point, which is that I think all of life really is based around creativity, and that creative problem-solving exists anywhere. But in terms of focus, once again, I don't like to prescribe a specific solution to anyone. I have found that going full blast, full focus on something, there's nothing like that. It's truly unique to go, "Okay, I don't have a backup plan here. I'm going to go full blast on this for the next x amount of time," whether that's a day or a month or a year. But again, I don't know enough about your situation. But I will say this, in a recent James Clear newsletter, maybe some of you guys are signed up to it, it's great, he quoted somebody that broke down life into five-year chunks. That any project that you take on, whether it's a book, or getting a business going, or whatever it may be, anything of true value takes five years. I thought that was an interesting thought. For me it's like a balance between momentum or a like, mortality is a very real thing that can happen at any time, I don't want to take my life for granted, and also, it doesn't all have to happen this very second, and that multitasking can often mean getting less done of any of the different things that you're trying to do. I will say that I do feel stuck sometimes when I'm trying to juggle too many things at once. Going back to this idea of space, creative space is huge. Taking a break can be the most incredible way to get creatively unstuck if you can get to a place where psychologically you give yourself permission for that. Because I think there are a ton of pressures on a very limited idea of what being productive or being successful means. Yeah. Lydia says that she's a freelance writer and she's trying to balance her time between work for clients and personal projects. She says, "I love what I do, but lately I find myself so drained, that I don't have the energy to work on the projects that I want to create for myself. How do I keep that energy and prevent that passion from becoming stress?" Yeah. That's such a good question. My ideas on this continue to evolve, but I do believe that there is a limited amount of creative energy that I have on a given day. It's a muscle that you can build up and develop, but let's also be realistic, we're human. There are certain energetic limitations. If this is really a dream of yours, that's the first thing you do, that's the first hour of your writing every day, is your own. You know for sure it's happening. Then the rest is the freelance writing that you're working on, and that has to get done and get out there. That's how I think I would go about that and make it ritualistic. You cannot miss this hour. I think that's the other part of this. I'm talking about creating space, and being open and flexible when it comes to creativity in your life as a whole. It's like creativity as a byproduct of your lifestyle. But that's paired with showing up and doing the work, even when you don't feel like it, still showing up for that. It's not like, "Oh, I'm waiting for inspiration to hit me." It's taking advantage when the inspiration hits, but it's also still showing up for that every morning I'm going to sit down here, even if I don't feel like it, I'm going to see where this takes me. If at the end of an hour, or two hours, or four hours, or however much time you're setting for yourself to do this, you're like, "Okay, I feel like I am hitting a wall here. I'm going to do something else." Giving yourself permission to do that. This is a balancing act we all must do. That's going to require proportions that look a little bit different. There are certain artists out there, certain writers, certain content creators that do things that seem literally impossible to me. It just doesn't seem possible. I don't think I could do it. My operating system, my way of doing things is going to look a little bit different. So yeah, that's my answer to that question. I have a pretty big question next, which is, how do you deal with existential dread? Yes. Well, if I knew. Exactly. Me too. I think again, I sound like a broken record, I feel like, but it's this balancing act. There are periods where I'm really just, "I'm going to consume the thoughts of philosophers, and try to understand how they broke things down, and I'm going to try and work through things myself. What is love? Or why do we exist?" These huge questions. It's good to ask them from time to time, I think. It's absolutely not bad to explore, but there are other times where I'm like, "Life is really not about figuring that out. It's really not.I'm definitely not going to have all the answers by the time my time is up here." Sometimes it's okay for me to just enjoy a beer with some friends, and maybe that makes me an ignorant whatever, because I am choosing to live this low-level existing as opposed to somebody who'd rather forever contemplate philosophical thoughts. But I don't care, I'm just living life. I think when it gets oppressive is when I start to think, "Okay, maybe it's good to shift gears a little bit here. This is starting to have a negative impact on other areas of my life." It's not pretending or ignoring what's going on, I think it's just giving myself once again permission and the space to say, "I don't have the answers here, this feels a little bit overwhelming. But there's also more to life in a paradoxical way." Yeah. Barbara says that, "Often, when I have a spark of creativity, I really want to start the project, usually a video, but I keep holding myself back. I'm always scared of what people might think of it and I don't even try it. Do you have any tips for getting started anyways?" Yeah, don't even think about the final product when you're starting. The video starts here or it starts with you grabbing your camera and starting to film what it is you're seeing out the window, and maybe you're not even going to use that. I think I would've thought that I would have had a set system for what I make at this point, and I don't. I'm still sucked into projects where I'm like, "Oh my God, I don't see the way forward here. I don't know what the answer is." It's just a one step at a time situation, but it's so important to feel a level of urgency. I refuse to allow those self doubts or those thoughts to like, "Oh, people are not going to like this. People are going to not respond well to this," or whatever it may be. I might offend people. I am not going to let those thoughts prevent me from making what I have to make. That is just this deep-seated urgency that I feel about the message I want to put out into the world, and I lean in on that, and I think you've got to tap into that. That's when I think back on when I start to feel those doubts shift my thinking, it's like, "No, I'm bigger than this." Jocelyn asks, "How can I deal with perfectionism? Every time I have an idea, I keep pushing it because I wanted to do it perfectly, so then I don't end up doing it at all, and that's frustrating." Yeah, it's another good question. I almost feel like I have to play psychological tricks on myself. I think a lot of people are confused why I created a second channel that I sometimes probably put a little bit too much effort into. I was like, "I'm going to create this space where I get to do whatever I want and it doesn't matter." I have standards that I have to meet in other spaces of mine online, but I just created a separate account, and was just like, "This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to give myself permission here to experiment." It was like a work around perfectionism. Then I also, I think studying artists like, it can be Picasso or somebody else who was incredibly prolific, studying their thinking about things and how they would go about what they make, and I'm not a Picasso. There's only one Picasso. I don't think I could ever necessarily have the same approach that he did to art, but if there's anything I can take away from his philosophy, I would imagine it would be beneficial if I'm getting stuck with perfectionism. That's my answer right there. To recap, exploring artists that seemed prolific and understanding, breaking down how they thought about the process. I don't remember the first thing I said. Oh yeah, creating spaces for yourself and playing psychological tricks on yourself. There you go. Boom. Let's end with an Evelina's, "How do you deal with imposter syndrome, and feeling like maybe your creative work does not provide any value to anybody else?" Yeah, I get that too. I think what pushes me forward is that it doesn't have to make sense, and by that I mean, I make things because of how it makes me feel, and because of how it helps me understand life and what I'm experiencing. It doesn't always make sense to me what I'm making. It doesn't always make sense to other people, I would imagine. I don't expect that from the process anymore. I think sometimes I enter endeavors that don't pan out, but it was about the experience itself. Qualifications like good enough, or valuable to somebody else, aren't really up to you. You're not the person that can necessarily decide what is valuable to other people. To be completely honest, I don't even really fully understand why sometimes people care about what I make. But it's not necessarily a super healthy trail to go down, if you will, thought trail to go down in obsessing over that. Why do people care about what I'm doing? I think I would just rather focus on again, how it makes me feel, how it helps me understand the world that I live in, and just focus on that. That's the core of it. 8. Final Thoughts: That wraps up my thoughts on the creativity for today. I hope that you found it helpful and it was really a pleasure answering a lot of your questions. I'll just say this, it's going to happen again. You're going to get creatively stuck again. If you're feeling stuck right now and you get unstuck, you're going to feel stuck again and again for the rest of your life. There's going to be great moments where you feel like you're on the top of the mountain and there's other moments where you're just at the bottom of the deepest valley in existence. It is what it is. Nobody can solve that. Once again, bringing a level of openness to the process, a level of curiosity about yourself, and a deep curiosity about life. If that means just being really present in a conversation with somebody, or whatever it is I'm going to eat tomorrow morning, or whatever it is that I see out my window, that for me is what makes it all really worth it. It's part of the creative process and I want to enjoy as much of it as I can instead of suffer endlessly, if there's anything I can do about it. That's the beautiful thing about this. You do have control over this. Because all of that tormenting and suffering and whatnot you go through when you're filling creatively stuck, that's happening in your head. It's normal. There's nothing wrong with you. But hopefully with these tools and with an understanding of the process, you can at least do something about it. Whether that's make a change, or try something new, or accept it. Accept that you're feeling stuck right now and that it won't last forever necessarily. Definitely use the Project Gallery, as a place to share any takeaways that you got from this, or if this sparked anything within you and you want to share that, I want to see that. Thank you once again for taking the time, really appreciate it. If you're interested, you can check out my Skillshare profile page, where all my material is available on here. See you guys.