Why We Resist Creating Art Though We Love It

A Guest Post by Maxima Kahn

"If I love writing (or painting, dancing, sculpting, weaving) so much, why do I resist doing it?" Maxima Kahn has an answer. Image credit: Claudia Soraya via Unsplash
"If I love writing (or painting, dancing, sculpting, weaving) so much, why do I resist doing it?" Maxima Kahn has an answer. Image credit: Claudia Soraya via Unsplash


Have you felt the resistance to create art even though it makes you feel truly alive? Have you felt the urge to write, paint, sculpt (fill in the blank), and yet - something has held you back?


In today's guest post creativity coach Maxima Kahn steps on her professional practice to explain the reasons behind creative struggles, and assure you you are not alone.  What is more - you can overcome this.


Want to learn more? Read on!


Creating art

I often get asked in my teaching, "If I love writing (or painting, dancing, sculpting, weaving) so much, why do I resist doing it? Why is it so hard to get myself to do it?"


My first answer, partly tongue-in-cheek, is, "If I really had the answer to that, I'd probably be a lot wealthier than I am."


I think I found an answer, though I don't know if it will make me rich.


Before I share with you what I saw today, let me tell you the answer I usually give after my half-joking answer:

Creating anything is really hard work, even though it is also Divine play.


It is one of the hardest things you'll ever do. It’s not hard initially, when you're in that lovely, blessed honeymoon phase when you first learn or start dabbling in an art form. But if you stay with one art form for any length of time, and especially if you intend to do it regularly and to share it with others, creating art becomes one of the most challenging activities of your life.


Why is creating so hard?

Because it requires you to be deeply present, awake to yourself and your world - the glory and the pain of that - feeling all of your often unacknowledged feelings, and at the same time, making something imaginative, skilful, beautiful, and real for others to enjoy or be enlarged by.


You have to stretch yourself into the new and the unknown, honing your ability to use the unwieldy tools of your chosen art form, and bumping up against your limitations.



And this leads me to what I realized today:

When I avoid making art or feel like I have to drag myself to it— despite the fact that I love it more than just about anything (even whipped cream!), and even though it gives me the deepest sense of aliveness and being me—it’s because. . . (drum-roll please)


Each time I enter my studio I am horribly afraid I will fail.

I am afraid of the vast nothing inside, of the blank page or canvas or music staff staring at me and at my inability to fill it with anything I will like, love, feel proud of.


Every time I start, I face the same terrible fear that there will be nothing there today, nothing of any value at least, nothing I can keep.


I come up against my own hard judgments:

  • You've done this before.
  • This isn't poetic enough.
  • You can't use that word again.

 And often times I do fail to make anything beautiful or wonderful, and it can be painful and disappointing that day.


But the fact remains I feel better that I tried. I'd rather be in the studio than not.

Facing that fear that nothing will come is really hard.


Facing the whole army of my subterranean feelings surging to the surface, needing attention, can be overwhelming and scary and humbling and can incapacitate me to make good art out of them.


Facing the panoply of my judgments about self and art can be crippling.


So, if you're wondering why you resist the very thing you love (and if you think you're alone in that, you are not!), maybe some of these reasons resonate. Let me know if they do.

And I want you to know you can overcome this.

You don’t have to battle yourself to do what you love to do.


What I teach in my work is how to move those fears and judgments aside enough to let you enter that charmed space of creation and learn to love yourself, your art and your life again and again. You can learn how to let creativity flow with the naturalness and joy you first experienced.


It's a practice, and it takes practice. And the rewards are huge. They extend out all over your life.


So, take heart. There are very good reasons that you may resist making art. And it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn how to make it way easier and more fun.


Have your say!

  • Have you felt resistance to create your art?
  • What are some of your greatest fears related to your art?
  • What are your ways to overcome resistance?


Please share in the comments! And remember to tell your friends on social media!


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About Maxima Kahn

Maxima Kahn - guest author of this post
Maxima Kahn - guest author of this post

Maxima Kahn is a poet, creative life coach and teacher.


She works with heart-centred artists and dreamers, helping them to unleash their creative brilliance and create lives of passion, purpose and deep play.


She blogs about the creative life, writing, soulful living, and how to realize your heart’s dreams at her website www.BrilliantPlayground.com.


Download her free e-book, The 6 Essential Ingredients of a Brilliant Life: For Artists and Creative Dreamers of all kinds.


Tune in for regular doses of inspiration and heart and powerful tools for creatives on Facebook  and Twitter.



Head image source: HERE

And now, tell me, seriously, just how cool is that?

  • Just so cool
  • Pretty cool
  • Beautiful cool
  • Gorgeous cool
  • MEGA cool

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