It's been called "writer's block" or a "not in the mood." Others would call it simply "procrastinating" or "tired." But as I look at a big chunk of time I wasted doing absolutely nothing, when I was definitely supposed to be creative, it hits me: I call this moment "fear."
Fear takes up many identities, such as a fear of spiders, clowns, or getting ghosted in the dating scene. What many creative people fear is the failure in their work. It will never be, good enough. It is both a motivation and a crippling setback because, on one hand, your competitive self says "Face the fear. Create. Ready, Set, Go!" and the other devil on the shoulder just yells how you're incompetent compared to all the other creatives you know.
I have asked many successful and established creatives if they had this fear at the beginning of their career, and many advise "Just do it." Unfortunately, it's not that easy. You can make excuses like:
First, let me declutter.
Ok, I'm just going to sweep and wipe all the surfaces.
I need a shower now.
Wait, just one episode of The Good Place.
Okay, ONE more episode.
*three hours later*
OOPS, I'm hungry, better eat now and watch another show.
I'm done eating, but now I have to finish the show.
And another episode...
It's 1 am! Whoo time for bed.
… and repeat.
Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just lazy and unwilling to face the possibility that my work is not that great. However, that's also all just in my head. The scariest thing about making your own stuff, whether that be music, writing, or anything else, is if someone would like it or resonate with it.
That is where the thinking has gone wrong. Creative projects could be for your audience, sure, but the passion and motivation to finish it always comes from you. You will not finish a project unless your voice is behind it at 100%. You won't even start it if you don't love it. The fear is not your fear of failure, but rather, your fear of yourself and what you are experiencing and what you want to say about it. And that's hard, but you have to do it to heal.
So, why are you reading this? Go make something.