Speed Bumps: Conquering Creative Challenges

When I take on a new creative effort, it’s charged with a burst of momentum. I think we all know the feeling, yes? It’s pretty awesome.

However, at some point, we start to hit road bumps–parts of the process that drag us down on the way to bringing that idea to life. Creative speed bumps, if you will.

overcoming creative challenges

Photo by veggiefrog

Right now I’m developing something new and exciting for wordhaus. I thought of the concept long ago, when the site was still under development. I’ve been psyched about it for over a year.

Now it’s time to bring it to life and poof–all I’ve got now is self-doubt.

And that’s when it occurred to me: These speed bumps always hit me at the same points in the process. 

The first speed bump always hits me as I start planning the actual details for execution. It’s a process of asking a long series of questions. But there’s two that are always at the back of my mind during this process: What if no one likes it? What if my plan doesn’t work?

Then, as soon as I start actually putting the pieces together I’m fine again. Laying it out in concrete detail gives me the confidence I need to regain that momentum.

Until my second speed bump: the release. 

I wrote about this some when I launched wordhaus last January. But anyone who has put their personal work out in the world can tell you about the gut-wrenching halt you feel before you flip that “on” switch and put your creation out there to be judged. The same two questions come back again. But this time it’s too late. It’s time to deliver!

Now that I’ve identified these two speed bump points in my process, I can see that they are rooted in the same cause: Fear. Of judgment. Of failure.

And I also know from previous experience that there’s only one good way to get past it. Slam your foot down on that gas pedal and have faith in what you have built.

But it also made me realize something else. These speed bumps aren’t all negative. They force me to slow down and challenge myself. As long as I don’t let the fears behind them stop me altogether, they can ensure that I slow down long enough to make sure my creation is the best it can be.

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What are your creative speed bumps? How do you overcome them?


5 thoughts on “Speed Bumps: Conquering Creative Challenges

  1. Another question to ask: What if they like it – a lot? Or, what if everyone is just waiting for you to create this/do this/ share this?

    And not even a hint, Emily? So wicked of you!

  2. Hmm, I just realized I was so eager to find out what you have planned, I forgot to share my speed bumps.

    I let myself get bogged down in minute details. I’m in the process of breaking my pattern of needing everything to be perfect before I can begin, or finish. Maybe I should just put the pedal to the metal, and get airborne over those bumps.

  3. I love this way of looking at the situation! Slow down, look at the speed hump, then keep driving.

    Some speed bumps don’t deserve a second look, though. For example: What if I’m fooling everyone, including myself? That one shouldn’t be given the time of day…and yet it’s very persistent.

    Looking forward to more news on your concept. 🙂

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