Some Random Thoughts On Self-Censorship And Creative Blocks

2013 Artwork Creative Honesty Sketch

Well, about a week and a half ago, I was feeling thoroughly bored and disillusioned with my “Jadzia Strange” comic. I had little enthusiasm for it and every page took about three times as long to write and draw as did a week or two earlier. In fact, I was *gasp* almost bored and disillusioned with art and creativity itself. This wasn’t exactly writer’s block but it was something pretty close to it.

Anyway, after taking a break, I started to think about what I would draw if I didn’t have to worry about what anyone else would think.

To my surprise, it wasn’t long before I’d spontaneously started drawing a rather risqué and thoroughly amazing piece of gothic art called “One Hell Of A Time” [NSFW]. I hadn’t planned to post it anywhere and the whole experience was just art for the sake of art. Yet, when I finished it, I was so impressed by it that I thought that I just had to share it (albeit with some slight edits).

This whole experience made me realise that self-censorship was the main reason why I had been feeling so unenthusiastic and uncreative a couple of hours earlier. Although there is a part of my imagination which is basically “PG-rated”, there is an even larger part of it which isn’t and I’d been pretty much ignoring it for the past couple of years (I mean, for starters, it’s been at least three years since I wrote a proper horror story).

So, to avoid this problem happening again, I actually set up a separate blog called “PekoeBlaze Uncut” where I’d try to censor myself as little as possible and be as creatively authentic as I wanted to be.

And, all of this came about just because I finally decided to be just a little bit more creatively honest and explore all of my imagination rather than just part of it.

So, if you’re feeling disillusioned about your art or your writing, try creating something totally honest. Try digging deep into your imagination and writing about or drawing the most interesting thing you find in there at that particular moment. Draw or write it with the intention of showing it to no-one and make it as authentic and honest as you can.

It doesn’t matter if it’s strange, shocking or incomprehensible – all that matters is that it means something to you and that you enjoy creating it.

Yes, creating something honest might not directly help you progress with any of your other creative projects, but it isn’t a waste of your time because it’ll probably remind you why you are an artist and/or a writer. And, now that you’ve remembered how great it feels to create interesting things, you might feel more enthusiastic about your other projects.

And, this is the best part, even if you still feel blocked with your other projects – then at least you will have created something new. Even if you don’t feel ready to publish the drawing or story you’ve created, at least you now have something which you can edit and change as much as you like until you feel comfortable with publishing it. And, even if the edited version of your new story or drawing is a pale imitation of it’s former self, then at least it will have started as something honest and you will have had fun making it.

And, trust me, when creating things feels really fun and significant to you on a deep emotional level, then writer’s block (or artist’s block) tends to strike a lot less often.

If you aren’t easily offended and you need more motivation to be creatively honest, then check out this video clip of Bill Hicks talking passionately about creative honesty.

Sorry that this article has been slightly rambling (I was slightly tired when I wrote it), but I hope that it was useful nonetheless 🙂

One comment on “Some Random Thoughts On Self-Censorship And Creative Blocks

  1. […] Zombie Story“ – “Four Things Artists Can Learn From Pamela Colman Smith“ – “Some Random Thoughts On Self-Censorship And Creative Blocks“ – “Using Simple Lines In Your Drawings“ – “Five Things That Artists Can […]

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