[To learn more about anxiety and the creative process, please take a look at Mastering Creative Anxiety, available now!}
Given that anxiety is an inevitable part of the creative process, isn’t creating and living the artist’s life a roller-coaster ride of emotions? Yes, it is! But if you want to create, you have to a buy a ticket for exactly that ride. Rather than strenuously defending yourself against the experience of anxiety, an effort that will prevent you from taking the kinds of risks that the creative process and the creative life demand, it is better to accept that anxiety is part of your early warning system against danger and to learn to deal with it rather than trying to avoid it or deny it.
If you strive to acquire a more detached, philosophical attitude, work to get a grip on your mind so that you create less anxiety, and master a few anxiety management tools, you will dramatically reduce your experience of anxiety and more effectively handle the portion that remains.
An important first step in dealing with all of this inevitable anxiety is making a certain attitude choice. You can choose to be made anxious by every new opinion you hear about your art or you can choose to keep your own counsel. You can choose to be over-vigilant to changes in your environment and over-concerned with small problems or you can shrug such changes and problems away. You can choose to involve yourself in every controversy or you can choose to pick your battles and maintain a serene distance from most of life’s commotion. You can choose to approach life anxiously or you can choose to approach life calmly. That is your choice—though you may need to practice your new choice a lot in order to make it a reality!
In order to create and in order to deal with all the anxiety that comes with creating, you must acknowledge and accept that anxiety is part of the process, demand of yourself that you will learn—and really practice!—some anxiety management skills, and get on with your creating and your anxiety management!