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Growth Through Process: Vulnerability

With the last official week of the Cringe and Create Campaign launch upon us I wanted to reflect back on the lessons learned through the process. I’ve learned that the process of creativity isn’t about perfecting the craft - though that can help - it’s about getting comfortable with vulnerability.

Yes, THAT buzz word.

Let’s look back at our Cringe and Create pieces and what I learned from each of them.

Week 1: Writing

Lesson: Showing pieces of your soul before they have armour

Sharing a piece of writing is one thing, snippets of a poem, excerpts from a piece of work in progress - usually these have been polished in order to share, marinating in edits until they feel safe to release into the world. When I shared this piece with all of you, about futuristic nest systems of sanctioned murder and carbon bird implants that switched POV from first to third, limited to omniscient, that was a huge exercise in vulnerability.

I had to trust the process. I had to embrace the journey. I had to remember that it was just another day to play in my creativity. I really learned how to push down that inner critic and just let the creativity flow and percolate into something new. Sharing that raw work in progress, the idea in progress, is such a risk and without being brave we can’t be vulnerable. Creatives need to put on armour so their work doesn't have to. Creatives need to understand that being vulnerable is courageous, that being brave means doing in the face of fear and doubt.

Week 2: Sketching

Lesson: Get comfortable with being bad at something and working to improve

This one was a laugh; it was a laugh to do and to share. I know I am bad at drawing, but it is something I want to get slightly better at, just for fun. I know this is not in my wheelhouse, but I had a blast doing this exercise. And did I start with a building, or a shape or a flower? No. I started with my cats - cat pet portraits. Way to build up to it.

This exercise had me learning to get comfortable at sharing bad art. The more comfortable we can get at being bad at creating, the more we are able to create, the less policing we will do around our creativity and therefore, the more wonderful creations we can make, and as a bonus, the better we can become.

Week 3: Jingles

It’s okay to own being bad at something and having fun with it

I love making up little jingles, tunes, slogans, taglines for literally everything in my life. It is such a pleasure to just have a little laugh with myself and sing as I go about my day. However, I am very well aware that my car concerts and pet theme songs are not performed well - actually they are brilliantly performed, but they are horrifically sung.

I have no ear for pitch, tone, tune, any of that. I can dance to music and know rhythm, beat, sounds, phrases. Yet I will not let my inability to sing stop me from doing something I enjoy immensely. However, I will also not regularly subject people’s ears to listening to me, unless you’re in my car for a road trip. Embracing the joy in our lives, even when we are bad at something is part of being human. It is okay to make a fool of yourself in your creativity and have a blast doing it, because at the root of creativity is play, and play is free.

Week 4: Break

Lesson: Vulnerability hangovers are a thing and you need to give yourself time

I had a week where I did absolutely zero creating, unless you count renovations and painting walls creating. And I realized that it was okay. Life is always happening, and although creating is an important part of that, sometimes other things take priority. It doesn’t mean you’re abandoning your creativity. It doesn't mean you don’t value your creative time. It mean s that, like all things, sometimes you need to step back and take a break.

Beating yourself up because you’re not creating is not going to make you create. It is going to put you in direct conflict with your creativity.

What did you learn from participating in or witnessing the Cringe and Create Campaign?

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