four excuses for creative block

4 Excuses That Block Your Creative Brilliance


Terina Nicole
It’s the top of 2017! If you’re anything like me, you are ready to start producing the inspired works of art that currently only exist in your heart and mind. You’ve likely been sketching, doodling or making lists of what’s next in your creative journey.

I’ve been blessed to have accomplished a bit in my creative career thus far and so I have total faith in the potential that exists in myself and you, as well. Because I know what amazing things are possible when we focus, I have a serious lack of patience with anything that tries to distract us from our greatness. I know FOR SURE that you have a unique, innate talent because we all do! But talent alone does not determine greatness. As matter of fact, it’s one of the least likely predictors of it.

Too many people don’t value their special gifts and settle for living mediocre lives absent of passion or fulfillment and take all of their untapped brilliance to the grave.

How sad and unfortunate! If that sounds like something you’d rather do then hey, don’t let me stop you!

But if not, let’s explore some of the things that you may try to get in the way of unlocking your brilliance so that we can examine them, dismantle them, and forever discard of them.

creativity blockers

Excuse #1: I don’t have time to create.

Excuse #2: I don’t know how to create the things I’d like to create.

Excuse #3: No one ever encouraged me to follow my dreams.

Excuse # 4: I don’t have money for (fill in the blank: classes, tools, materials, etc.)

Excuse numero uno: I don’t have time to create.

This is the most popular and my most despised because we all have the same number of hours in the day. Time is actually the great equalizer. People ask me all of the time how it is that I have time to do all that I do. I teach design workshops, I run Jypsea Leathergoods and I’m a realtor plus I am a mother with an equally active child who has a schedule packed with activities. Add to that the fact that I am often in school for one thing or another. I recently earned my Masters in Art from New Jersey City University while attending full-time and juggling all of the above. On any given day I have products to design, blog posts to write, meals to cook (yes, I cook breakfast and dinner 5-6 days/week), my kid’s homework to check, clients’ projects to manage and houses to show. I’m putting up wallpaper, painting furniture, designing handbags, and chaperoning field trips often in the same day!


I am able to accomplish plenty in a day through good old-fashioned time management, working late/early and prioritizing tasks and so can you. There are tools/apps that make this easier but nothing will work until you make the commitment to making the use of your talent a priority.Make a commitment to yourself to fit in time for your creativity.

Consider reducing your TV time from 2hrs a night to 2hrs per week.

Register for an illustration class at your local community college.

Block out the time to create in your calendar of your fancy smartphone which, by the way, likely costs more than the art class you think you can’t fit into your budget… but no judgment from me.

The point is that making time is simply as simple as making a commitment.

Excuse #2: I don’t know how to create the things I’d like to create.

In the age of Youtube and online courses and tutorials, I don’t how this is still a thing. There is nothing you can’t learn to do these days. I’ve patched my own roof, learned new braid styles for my child’s hair, and improved my crocheting skills thanks to Youtube videos. Not knowing something is only a matter of time and attention. Buy a book, take an e-course, watch a video, or take a class.

You don’t need fancy college degrees to be a beast at something anymore. You just need passion and a willingness to learn.

You have to know that ‘everything is figureoutable’ as one of my favorite gurus, Marie Forleo, states and get on a mission to get it figured out. Also, don’t become married to perfection!

Done is always better than perfect.

You won’t paint like Picasso the first time you pick up a paint brush. Put in the work and you will see the progress. I promise!

Excuse #3: No one ever encouraged me to follow my dreams.

I get it. Having a lack of moral support or a team of people who are rooting for your success may make your feel discouraged at times but the truth of the matter is that only YOU are responsible for YOUR success. Your parents may have encouraged you to get a ‘safe’ and reliable job so that you can support yourself. Who can fault them for that?

The fact that you were actually born to be a ceramic artist and not an accountant is YOUR problem to solve, not theirs.

There are plenty of people who have had all of the access to opportunities and all of the support in the world and yet have chosen a life of despair, and destruction. There are plenty others who have had to overcome what appeared to be unsurmountable obstacles, who were born with nothing and have risen to the pinnacle of their chosen careers.

It all boils down to focus.

If you get clear on what you are trying to achieve: (a show at The MOMA? Your own line of beauty treatments? Your handcrafted furniture sold in retailers around the world?) and committed to the process, you will arrive at your destined destination.

But it all starts with you letting go of your resentment of the lack of support you feel and staying true to your commitment to yourself.

You must care enough about your goals to dedicate yourself to them and keep going when no one else is holding you accountable.

Consistency and commitment happens behind the scenes for a long time well before the crowd comes to cheer.

The “overnight success” is nothing but a myth. But once you seriously commit to your dream, The Universe will bend to support you. If you’ve read The Alchemist, you know all about this truth.

And as much as it would be nice to have dear, old dad pat you on the back, having The Universe’s support is much more powerful. (Sorry dad!) Once you are committed to your creative dreams, crazy things begin to happen! The Universe will drop emails in your inbox that provide solutions to design problems, you’ll get ideas in your dreams that fuels your projects, and you’ll be introduced to people who will open doors to exhibit your work.

The Universe is actually the greatest support system ever but it only works for you when you do.

Excuse # 4: I don’t have money for (fill in the blank with classes, tools, materials, etc.)

Let’s not lie to ourselves. Humans make excuses, especially about where we want to spend our hard-earned money. There is a big difference between what we can’t afford and what we chose not to spend money on. We’ll drop a few hundred dollars on dinner with friends but not have any money to spare for the homeless guy we pass on our way back to our vehicle.

Not to mention, the legions of so-called “broke” people toting around hi-end gadgets and luxury handbags. We easily forget that we make choices with our money. I’m a girl from Newark, NJ and as a result I used to think that only “other people” get to travel the world…until my own friends, people just like me, were regularly flying off to exotic locales and spending months in Japan, London, or backpacking around Europe. They aren’t rich. There aren’t retired. But they CHOSE travel over cable tv, travel over a pair of new shoes every time they were going out, travel over dining out, even travel over cars. They chose travel over everything. Travel is their priority.Whenever you make something a priority, you will make a make way.

What if you choose your dreams over going out to eat every weekend? Your art over the latest gadget…your goals over the new Jordans…your dreams over new gear? That’s what it takes to succeed. You must invest in YOU.

You make a choice to be a consumer or an investor with every single purchase.

Also, take into consideration that there are some things that don’t even require an exchange of money.

Barter! You’d be surprised how eager Aunt May will be to give you sewing lessons if you cook her a week’s worth of healthy meals. The local art center will probably give you free studio space if you’ll teach a weekly youth jewelry design workshop.

sewing lessons

I once had that arrangement and it was GREAT! They even threw in free weekly illustration classes for my daughter!

Seek and ye shall find. Ask and ye shall be given! Once you have made the decision to commit to your dreams, magic happens. All of the missing pieces fall into place.

To truly allow your brilliance to flourish, you have to boldly make your goals the priority in your life and let go of what does not bring you closer to your dreams.

Leave a Reply