The Creative Process – From Dreaming To Reality


Here’s why people prefer to dream than to do something about their dreams.  The first stage is fabulous, it’s where you let all your ideas go wild.  You don’t censor anything, don’t tell yourself you can’t succeed.  It’s kind of like taking a drug that inhibits all your inhibitions.  I like that phase a lot.

Then you start to organize your thoughts and begin to create something real.  This part is where challenges start.  A lot of people give up at the threshold, and prefer to make excuses – I would if I could, but…  If you can push yourself over the threshold, though, it gets much more exciting than dreaming, and as challenges come up you deal with them.

Momentum builds and pretty soon you’re carried on the wave of your own creativity.  There’s nothing like it.  It’s also where you start to realize “hey, my dream could actually come true.”  It’s a pretty inspiring and energizing thought.

Then you’re done with whatever it is you’ve created and you launch it.  And without realizing it you’re back in the dreaming phase.  You think you’re being practical but actually you can’t help yourself believing you’re going to be an instant success.

You think of all the people who have managed to rise above the seething masses and be noticed by more than family and friends, and you think “this is going to happen for me too.”  It’s true, you have created this possibility, fashioned it out of a dream, worked on it in a real way.  You read and hear about the successes.

You even read about their challenges along the way but somehow it doesn’t sink it that probably you’re going to have them too.  You think, “well, it couldn’t have been so bad for them, because they must have known somewhere in their hearts that it was all going to work out okay.”

Maybe for some people instant success happens, but it hasn’t happened for me yet.  I have to constantly remind myself that that’s the operative word – “yet”.  I’m facing the reality that the challenges of this phase put you in a very lonely and scary place.  It’s the time you want to give up, because you’re swimming in a quagmire of self-doubt about you and what you’ve created.

It’s natural to look to the outside world for affirmation, and when you don’t get it, to believe you don’t deserve it.  It’s easy to want to give up.  But this, I think, is exactly the time when you have to stay and keep on going.   Live on hope.  Be grateful that you can generate it.  Try not to listen to the part of you that laughs, mocks, jeers “who do you think you are?  You’re a lunatic.”

I paper my walls with messages that remind me not to give in to that crap.  Remind me that the idea that I can’t succeed is as much a speculation as the idea that I can.  So why choose to believe the one that destroys my hope and cauterizes my creativity?

This phase of turning a dream into a reality is the hardest of all.  It’s a constant fight to hold onto faith and hope; remember the pleasure I’ve had so far in creating, and keep on reaching for it.  It’s a constant bloody fight to not give up.  But it’s the good fight.

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