3 Lies That Kill Your Creativity With A Quickness

“I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation…” Succumb to These Stupid, Soul-Crushing Narratives and Die from Within

Please don’t be one of them. You don’t have to be.

Self-unsure saboteurs of their own birthright who abort the Hero’s Journey with endless hurting talk of sour grapes—as if the fruit of the vine isn’t within reach, as if they cannot learn to climb…

Who confuse Nothingness for meaninglessness and cynical ironical dive downward on the spiral with the uninformed and affected certainty of an evangelical…

Whose hands are thrown in the air not for Hallelujahs but the shrugging smugness that hides behind passionless interpretations of ‘What’s Real and Safe and Sustainable’.

Gah. Ennui Majeur. Magnus Tedium. Shit-for-brains and useless pain.

3 lies that kill creativity | matias o'din | tell yourself better stories

Too much destructive self-talk to detail completely. And really, what’s the point? Like the Tolle-House Teacher (hereafter affectionately referred to as ‘The Cardigan Gnomeand/or ‘Uncle Eck’) points up in The Power of Now it’s not you, it’s just content… and its ramblings are endless.

No, instead of getting caught up in the exploration of  labyrinthine negativity/unconscious filler the idea is to dispense with it altogether.

Again, Uncle Eck:

How can we drop negativity? By dropping it. How do you drop a piece of hot coal that you are holding in your hand?”

Same way. The only coal to hold is the one capable of setting fires in which inspiration rages and is indistinguishable from action and transformation occurs. Hurting for the sake of hurting is madness, and yet we do it all the time—righteously, fervently, to the death and decay of our dearest of dreams.

Enough of that and enough of these: three lies that kill creativity and turn up again and again in the content mill of the mind. Here’s how to kill ’em with a quickness (totally defensible… it’s you or them).

Lie #1: Happy Writers Don’t Write

3 lies that kill creativity | matias o'din


Or, said another way…

If you only write when you’re depressed there’s a pretty good chance that, rather than a writer, you’re a self-medicator with a predisposition against therapists. (Nothing wrong with that. Keep writing and re-writing til the story goes the way you want it to. But understand that if you’re going to write for an audience, they deserve your joys and your victories, too—probably most of all.)

I don’t think that sounds harsh, but if it does think of it this way: could you call yourself a monk if you only prayed when you were in trouble? Nope. You’d serve G-O-D-NATURE by serving others, your prayers the catalyst of holy crystallization—your resiliency and resolve. Your gratitude the currency of abundance.

It’s exactly like that.

Writers write—all of it and daily. It’s a calling that, like every calling, pulls at the heart and requires discipline and discipline makes it the Path with Heart.

As a matter of fact, the vast majority of writers that I know experience their most debilitating mood swings when they can’t write, whether due to external obligations or trying to think themselves out of writing block instead of writing themselves out of a thinking block.

If that’s what’s at issue here’s a prompt for your next ecstatic notebook entry:

The soul-made marrow in your holy bones sings Gypsy canticles to your subconscious when you sleep and you call it Dream.

Write about that and be happy for it. Be more than happy, be joyful. Elevate yourself with ink. Cry out praises for mother messages spilling from your pen.

Make writing your Practice and, when you do it right, it will “take you everyplace.”

Recommended books for your journey:

Writing Down the Bones

The War of Art

Steal Like an Artist

Lie #2: Suffering Is Noble

Only if you use it to explode the fucking darkness.

There’s nothing inherently noble in your pain and your pain is not the crown of wisdom—everyone has it, see?

While “a rich heaviness delights us in its time” wallowing in it is just. plain. boring.

venturing into darkness | matias o'din | "3 lies that kill creativity

If you’d lay claim to a title like Artist, Writer, Musician then you would also accept the responsibility that goes with it: to nurture and develop your inborn talents, to delve deeply into your craft to use it to its fullest most potent effect, to align the medium with a purpose that promotes healing—of yourself and others and the planet.

Granpappy Joe spit it thusly:

The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.”


And also: the real meaning of suffering is not weeping. It means “to undergo”, to experience. Like our dear Drunkle Buk once pecked upon a typer, “What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”

Collect those tears and use them to fuel your insurgencies and daily combustions, your wild so wild creations. Share them with a Souldier whose story might be aided and abetted, shifted and uplifted by your own.

That (O, Queen! O, King!) is noble as fuck.

Transformation Tools:

The Power of Now

The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure for Writers

Lie #3: Making Money Means Selling Out

Writer, PLEASE.

You pay the farmer for a pound of apples and you pay to pick ‘em, too.

This Work of yours—weaving stories from aethers, raindrops, bits of tinsel tangled in roadside flowers—warrants your boots and your roof, your rice and your wine today and for all your days to come.

I have a special kind of loathing for this lie, probably because I believed it myself for such a very long and faded time.

And then one day that was a culmination of days struggling to pay for the simplest things it come a-knockin’ on my forehead like an impatient Angel sick of withdrawing his bets.

The Angel spaketh:

Hey, you, writer guy! Yeah. So you know that you adopted this belief when you were a child…from other children! Right? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some punk rock. Matter o’ fact me an’ Joe Strummer was jus’ talkin’ politics an’ chord progression over a game o’ 5-card the other day… Which brings me to my point. Most o’ those childrens you was listenin’ to upon a time is grown an’ dead now. And the legacies they left? Worth millions and millions. How many folks you think you could help with them kinda clams?”

“Damn,” says I. “So, stop scratching at the dirt and calling it integrity?”

“Bingo,” sayeth my winged friend. “Look up, look out, look IN. Now write again. And this time negotiate payment in advance.”

“What’ll you give me for this?” I asked, slipping him a sentence napkin-scribbled just this morning.

“My last handful o’ change.” He smiled, “I was all in and Joey called my bluff…”

“Alright, Angel, I’ll take your change and invest it in my writing business. But I retain exclusive publishing rights here and nowever more.”

“Now yer gettin’ it, writer guy.”

“And, hey,” says I, as the hark heralder began to pixelate, “tell Joe I say Hi.”

“Tell him yourself. You’ll be sittin’ at the table soon enough.”

small time huge creation | matias o'din | "3 lies that kill creativity

—Matias O’Din


P.S. Like I said, I have a special loathing for that last lie—nearly killed me six ways from two decades of Saturdays.

But, when the coal finally got too hot to hold onto any longer, and when I’d resolved to become humble enough to be teachable/brave enough to teach, the way out and back in started revealing itself in some crazy beautiful and unexpected ways.

To the point, I do have a recommendation for everyone who’s struggled with the concept of getting paid to do what they love: take advantage of the neuroplasticity of your brain and rewrite your story the way you want it to go.

Here’s the link:

Winning the Game of Money

The webinar’s free. The program isn’t. But, I can testify, I’m in the midst of it now and it’s worth every farthing, quid and bit.

{Update: Completed Level 12—the last level—of the program. Mind blown. Reality bent. Starting on Level 1 again.}

P.P.S. New on my radar (and the market): Jeff Goins’ latest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve. Start paying your rent with your words today (pay off your mortgage tomorrow?)…

P.P.P.S. Got an inkling, a notion or an Aha! that you’d like to share? Leave me a comment or Carrier Pigeon to:


Mine inbox awaits the glory…


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