The Act of Creation


“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”
I ran across this quote by Pablo Picasso and I had no clue what he meant.  I never saw being creative as destroying things. It always seemed to me that an act of creating was beautiful.
Despite my disagreement with his quote, his words seemed to stay with me. They struck a chord and I didn’t know why.
Years later I found myself staring at a blank sheet of college ruled line paper. Pen in hand, I didn’t know where to begin. I was attempting to formulate a story for the Writers of Kern Fall Writing Contest. I was terrified whatever I wrote wouldn’t be good enough to compete with the other entries.
If I put myself out there to be judged and I didn’t win…what would that mean?
I knew Writers of Kern celebrated rejections. It meant you put yourself out there and gave it your best shot. But…that didn’t help me as I stared at that empty page.
Was I a good writer? Was I enough?
I learned I’m not the only creative person who has had these moments of self doubt. It is common to feel like when you create something, no one will appreciate it the way that you do. My thoughts tormented me and left me paralyzed. I knew I had stories in my head, a myriad of tales (what writer doesn’t) but I just couldn’t get them down on paper.
As I sat there feeling like I wanted to give up…that Pablo Picasso quote came to me. I wondered why it presented itself to me now. In that moment of despair I thought of his words.
“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”
Then it hit me (It was one of those proverbial light bulb moments). I understood what he meant.
To be creative, to be an artist, to be a writer, you had to knock down those negative thoughts. You had to destroy the insecurities, the self doubt and the pessimistic mindset.
I had to blow up the walls and rid myself of the constructs in my mind that would stifle my creativity. 
It WAS an act of destruction.
Every blog post, every novel I write, every poem or short story I submit…doubts corrupt me.
Author and spiritualist Byron Katie says that “a thought is harmless unless we believe it…”
 So I wipe out those barriers knowing that every act of creativity means annihilating and bravely powering through. Even when those unconstructive feelings make me afraid. It’s okay to think them but letting negative thoughts sit there and take up space is the problem.
I eventually wrote that story. I submitted it and…won 3rd place.
So let’s destroy something. Let’s demolish those doubts and fears. Let’s put ourselves out there and show the world we are here and we aren’t going anywhere. And if we lose, if we fail, if we are rejected…let’s celebrate!

One thought on “The Act of Creation

  1. Yes. We ALL feel this way when creating and putting it out there for the public view. Vulnerability. It takes guts and persistence. Keep going! xoA ❤

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