Hey cutie pies,
A few years ago, the above quote came up on my page-a-day calendar. It’s a line from astronomer Carl Sagan‘s book Cosmos; you can read it in its original context here. Without knowing what he originally meant, though, the first thing it made me think about was creativity.
I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to creative projects; so much so that sometimes it’s easier to quit before we even begin. The funny thing is, I think all of us are creative. I think being human requires it. We put our creativity to work all the time, whether we’re balancing a beyond-busy schedule or talking a friend through a challenging situation. Sometimes we make the impossible happen without even thinking about it. But making art? Forget about it.
I love to write, and I am so excited about the book I’m finishing, but now and then I get intimidated by a blank page or edits that need to be made. What Carl’s words reminded me is that I’m never really starting from nowhere. I’m not trying to create some crazy type of art form that doesn’t exist yet. (Although that would be cool!) I’m also not trying to write the One Book to End All Books. I’m just trying to write a book that I can be proud of, that my younger self would totally love, and that will fit nicely on the shelf with all of the books that guided me.
So yeah, I’m not trying to rebuild the universe from scratch. I’m just trying to make the best apple pie I can. I already have the ingredients (inspiration, knowledge, passion) that I need. And if I find I’m missing anything? I have full confidence I can go out and get it. And I 100% believe the same is true for whatever you dream to make, too.
Below are a few more quotes that speak to ways we can take the pressure off ourselves when it comes to creativity. One was too long to make into a cute graphic, but still too good not to share!
If you have any favorite quotes—on creativity or anything else—I would love to hear them. Please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it . . . At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is—if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart.
Which is the entire point.
Or should be.Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear