Behind the Masquerade Mask: Developing Creativity in the Dark

I believe there are times when we develop creativity in the dark. By this I mean, we give ourselves permission to hide while we explore our identities.

During these shadowy times, we become like children sampling what calls to our hearts. A precious spontaneity sweeps over us, and we dare to do something never attempted before.

The sensation is much like what came over me when this mask caught my eye while walking by Treasures of Monterey, a quaint shop in Carmel, CA.

The pink plumes, ornate gold braiding, fuchsia hues, European artwork, and musical notes emulated feminine mystique. I just had to go into the shop and buy several masks for my collection.

When we create in the dark, we avoid the roving eyes of sharp-tongued critics. Our exploration has a chance to fail, to develop, and to grow.

Our goal is not to perform but to live. In living, we breathe in the air of freedom and opportunity so necessary for cultivating our talents and interests. As a child, I dreaded disappointing my parents and teachers; basically, adults in general. This compulsion to be good often directed my choices rather than the desire for the creativity God embedded in my genetic code.

Avoid criticism and conflict at all costs developed into a life motto. Yet, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, the real JoDee got lost behind a mask of perfectionism. Walking that tightrope between humility and self-actualization often left me dangling. I just could not do it right. No matter how I tried to avoid disappointing others, criticism eventually became too difficult for me to bear, and so I decided to develop my creativity away from the gazes of others.

So, you can imagine why the decision to blog struck terror in me. Bringing my various identities into a public forum meant facing those demons of failure and criticism.

Yet, the blessings received from family, friends and new acquaintances, who have visited my blogs, make facing my fears of self-exposure worth the inner conflict. So readers, I would love to know what your thoughts on creating in the dark are. Have you ever experienced seasons of hiding your creative pursuits in order to avoid criticism? Do you believe there are times when hiding is essential for self-improvement? Is there something calling to you? Don’t miss a post! Sign up for an email subscription and receive notifications.

If you are looking for creative inspiration and tips on how to develop and manage your create life, check out my book, Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics.


2 Replies to “Behind the Masquerade Mask: Developing Creativity in the Dark”

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