Exorcising Creative Saboteurs
Posted on November 26, 2012 by admin
If they do, they may hurt you, arrest your progress and snuff out your potential, sometimes quite unconsciously.
You need to be vigilant, to watch out for such people and avoid them where possible, even if they are in your family or your close friends. You may even wish to let such friends go and seek instead those who support your changes and growth.
But avoidance is not always possible. If a saboteur does have a lash at you, you need to understand what has happened (sometimes we are oblivious, we feel the hurt without understanding what caused it or that it didn’t and doesn’t need to be so).
We also need to know ourselves, to know what we need to do to heal, so our development is not impeded.
Creativity guru and author of The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron, puts it thus: “In the Southwest, where I live half of every year, I have learned to walk with an eye peeled for rattlesnakes and even the stray tarantula. As an artist, I must pay equal heed to the psychologically dangerous denizens of my environment. I call these characters ‘creative saboteurs’.
“A creative saboteur is not a friendly animal, and no matter how innocent it may try to appear, its very presence means you must be altert to impeding damage to you — and your dreams.”
Creative saboteurs take many forms:
- The Crushers: think your tendency towards the creative is silly or self-indulgent or just plain crazy and like to tell you why, either directly or through barbed “humour”
- The Doomsayers: know better than you, especially about how hard it’s going to be and all the dangers in what you’re doing
- The Wet Blankets: dampen creative excitement whenever they encounter it, usually with uninvited, ill-considered opinion
- The Superiors: love Literature and Art (capital L and A) and want you to know that you are deluded if you think what you do, or how you think about life, compares in any way to the doings of whatever Great Names they like to drop.
Sometimes, people have unacknowledged agendas of their own. Sometimes they know exactly what they are doing. Sometimes, it happens by accident, as people try to negotiate their own lives.
We can See Creative Saboteurs Off
Most times, we can see saboteurs off by understanding what’s happening and just getting on with living our way and doing our thing.
But if something somebody said or did hurts like hell, more powerful (and playful) repair is needed.
- Make A Monster. Think over the injury that has been done to you (even, maybe especially if, it was many years ago) and reflect on its particular qualities. Now make a monster – draw it, paint it, write it or actually make it – that embodies all the nasty elements of your creative saboteur. Exaggerate wildly. Make it as big and bad and outrageously evil as you can. Let your imagination have full rein and let out your anger or frustration or hatred of this monster and what they’ve done. Prepare to be surprised.
- Destroy The Monster. You might set it alight. You might crush it between two bricks. You might decapitate it and bury it in a grave. You might take it out onto the motorway and abandon it.
- F-R-E-E-Write the experience. How did it feel as you made it? As you destroyed it? How do you feel now?