For some, avoiding the fear of creating seems to work just fine and does not pose emotional challenges. They may not have an itch for innovative thinking or artistic expression. However, for most creative people, not starting or not finishing a creative project is painful and frustrating. They see days go by with little progress on their creative ideas, all while spending much of their time seeing what other creators are bringing to life. They watch movies, listen to music, go to shows, use technology, and take part in experiences in which they're mere recipients of creative stimulation—they're not the ones doing it despite a longing for creative pursuits.
Luckily, for those who yearn to become producers of creativity rather than consumers, three key concepts can help manage psychological deterrents.
1. “I want to give back” The first concept emphasizes the idea that creative work is a contribution—one that plays a part (even if it's a small one) in shaping the collective creative realm. People can spend their entire lives as recipients of others' creative work, but it's not until they give something back that they fulfill the role of the contributor. Even if a song gets fewer than 100 listeners, it can still make a significant contribution to those who something out of it. The desire to participate in the exchange of content and ideas is powerful. Creators can ask themselves “why not give back to the vast world of creative contributions?”
2. “I can handle fear and anxiety” Another concern for creative people, one that makes them likelier to remain consumers instead of producers, is the worry that they'll be overwhelmed with the negative feelings that naturally arise during a challenging creative process. Sometimes the negative feelings (such as fear and anxiety) stem from not knowing how to proceed, or from facing the disappointment of unsatisfactory results. Creators who prepare themselves to cope with such feelings and who become empowered in knowing that they can handle them should they arise (sometimes with with the help of a therapist), are likelier to take the plunge and try creating something.
3. “Fulfilling creative potential is a form of self-care” Another way to set the creative process in motion is to think of creativity as a lifestyle choice meant to maximize well-being. Fulfilling our creative potential is a need associated with psychological health. Those who are inclined to generate many ideas will become mentally stifled and frustrated if they don't act on them. Non-conformist, innovative thinkers need to express their thoughts in order to live authentically. Rich and complicated emotional experiences need to be represented creatively so that those in distress can process and cope with their feelings. Thinking about the self-serving role of producing creative work makes it likelier that someone will move from the role of the consuming recipient to the role of the active creator.