Hazards Along the Creative Path

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Forgetting to Be Human

The arts—writing, painting, cooking, dance, music—are supposed to represent the human element, yet artists, in our behaviors and relationships, often forget to be human.

Bad Behavior

At times, distinctions between critique and cruelty can blur. Competition can replace the necessity for supportive creative community. In the thrill of achievement, we can forget the essential vulnerability necessary for expansive thought. Enchanted by applause, we can become stuck in the desire for approval, causing our creative engines to idle. Or, overwhelmed by the daunting emotions that accompany the creative process, we might numb ourselves with destructive compulsions or substances.

Perhaps worst of all, in excessive absorption in our own artistic moment, we can treat those who have offered support, nourishment, and love with disregard and disrespect.

Being There

As artists, we are susceptible to all of these behaviors, all of which ultimately undermine our own creative expansion and, possibly, threaten our survival as human beings.

It’s our responsibility to be aware of these hazardous potentials, to live the creative life with conscious intention, and when we commit an error, to return to the state of humility that spawned our artistic endeavors in the first place—and apologize.