I have a Slack chan­nel with my friends Bec and Karen where we get to be hon­est about our cre­ative work, or lack of. It’s some­thing every cre­ative needs, I think: a safe haven to cel­e­brate or com­mis­er­ate.

Recently, Karen posted a thread say­ing I’m not ex­pect­ing you to watch or lis­ten to these, but I thought I would post them all here so I could find them again when­ever I’m feel­ing down about cre­ative stuff, and I thought they might be help­ful to you too.” She ti­tled the thread Creator Medicine’.

Gradually, we all added the things we kept com­ing back to. The col­lec­tion of links we put to­gether I found use­ful , so I thought I’d col­late them here, in case you found them help­ful too.

I’ve grouped them un­der the fol­low­ing ques­tions, if you like, the di­ag­noses that these med­i­cines might work on.

Feeling like your cre­ativ­ity might not be big enough, or you’re not cut out for this work?

TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elu­sive cre­ative ge­nius (19 min)

If you haven’t heard her yet, Elizabeth Gilbert has a way of speak­ing as some­one who has been there on the cre­ative jour­ney, who has been suc­cess­ful, and yet, has­n’t let suc­cess de­stroy her cre­ativ­ity, like it has to so many oth­ers.

Here she ques­tions the myth of the tortured artist’ and asks whether our emo­tional re­la­tion­ship to cre­ativ­ity could be re­framed in a bet­ter light. If you like this, fol­low it up with her book on cre­ativ­ity, Big Magic.

Feeling aim­less in your cre­ative life, or deal­ing with im­pos­tor syn­drome?

Neil Gaiman: Make good art (20 min)

This com­mence­ment speech from 2012 by one of our favourite au­thors, Neil Gaiman be­came a clas­sic for good rea­son. He is wise about mak­ing a ca­reer in the cre­ative arts and his ad­vice here is big­ger than just for writ­ers—“When things get tought, this is what you should do: Make good art”.

Feeling like cre­ativ­ity is­n’t worth the strug­gle, or won­der­ing how to make more art when you hate every­thing you’ve made so far?

Elizabeth Gilbert talk­ing with Brene Brown on es­sen­tial cre­ativ­ity

This episode from Gilbert’s Magic Lessons pod­cast res­onated so strongly with me when I first heard it, that I im­me­di­ately lis­tened to it again. Brene Brown is a re­searcher in courage, shame and em­pa­thy (you may have seen her TED talk on vul­ner­a­bil­ity).

Together, the two of them sound and re­sound off an­other about the shame that some peo­ple carry around their cre­ativ­ity, what mean­ing cre­ativ­ity has in this life, and how to keep go­ing when you feel like every­thing you’ve made is ter­ri­ble.

Feeling like life is too busy and you sim­ply don’t have time to be cre­ative?

Mark McGuiness on How to Find Time for Creative Work

Mark McGuiness is a cre­ative coach and he’s good at get­ting to the nitty-gritty of what it will ac­tu­ally mean for you to take ac­tion on your cre­ative steps or around your cre­ative blocks. His ad­vice here is prac­ti­cal and sound.

Feeling like what you’ve made is ter­ri­ble and that peo­ple are go­ing to laugh at you if you try and put it out in the world?

Wait but Why on Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

This is a blog post that I think about al­most every day. I’m sure you’ve prob­a­bly seen Wait But Why’s style of long blog posts with sim­plis­tic, hi­lar­i­ous il­lus­tra­tions.

Here, WbW gets real about what’s go­ing on with our brains when we freak out over what other peo­ple will think about us or our art (hint: it has to do with a mam­moth) and how to work past that to find your voice. If you ac­tu­ally in­ter­nalise this les­son, it will help you in count­less ways, in­clud­ing the way you make art.

Found some­thing here help­ful or have a sug­ges­tion, I would love to hear from you.