THIS article totally lit a fire under my butt! In the immediate aftermath of reading it, I completed almost six hours of work on my film's rough animatic, more than I'd done in the last two weeks.
Pen Densham—writer of "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and writer/director of "Moll Flanders," among other accomplishments—describes how he gets past the self-doubt to allow the creative process to flow. Some highlights:
• Ignore advice that interferes with your natural process. What works for one may not work for another.
• Find your own "music": create from who YOU are instead of trying to be someone else.
• Recognize that the creative process is not a straight line; it often takes diversions to get to the final place you've envisioned.
• "Try to see your writing [creating] as adventure, imaginary play. Surrender to your instincts. The ideas will flow more easily." In other words, you can't force creativity and ideas.
• Don't worry about being totally original. There are only about seven plots from which all other stories are derived. "Creativity reinvents the world."
• Ignore your doubts, the internal critic.
Densham quotes copywriter Andrew Cavanagh's terrific advice about dealing with writer's block, advice that can be applied to any creative process.
These articles really spoke to me because I regularly allow too much self-doubt to creep into my brain. It's those doubts that push me away from my computer or drawing table to other activities like watching endless amounts of tv and movies, anything but creating. Too often I think that I'm going too slowly with my project or not doing one of the steps correctly…or something. What I'm slowly beginning to understand and internalize is that there's rarely one right way to be creative. Whatever process works for me is the process I should follow. There's always room for more efficiency but aside from that, I'm sticking to what WORKS.
More importantly, I'm training my brain to not care if "others" don't understand why my project is "taking so long." Every person who feels that way is NOT a creative person. They're not making something out of nothing, I AM! How would a non-animator possibly know how long it "should" take to make an animated film?! C'mon, man!! I tell them how long it takes, NOT the other way around!
Let's keep going!