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When I am asked what is the biggest block to creativity, I find myself answering, “a lack of humility.” Dreams remain dreams, nothing more, when we insist on their being fulfilled instantly and perfectly. We measure ourselves against masters and we tell ourselves that we will never achieve our dreams. But masters began as beginners, and their willingness to risk appearing foolish is a form of courage that is often invisible.

Let us say we dream of being filmmakers. Rather than enroll in a beginners’ course, we look at the polished masterpieces we so admire, and we say to ourselves, “I could never do that.” We are right, too, that we could never do “that,” but, with humility as a starting point, we could do original work that is very fine indeed.

So let us imagine that we have signed up for our beginners’ course in film. If our teacher is wise, he will direct our focus to the beginning works of those we wish to emulate. George Lucas directed Star Wars, but long before he undertook his masterwork, he made beginner’s films that might best be described as “bumpy.” Perhaps we cannot duplicate Star Wars, but we can make our own beginner’s films, and those baby steps will often lead us further.

from It's Never Too Late to Begin Again


One Comment on "Humility"

  1. Ashley Stearns says:

    This is probably the last comment you’ll want to see on this blogpost, in particular, but if I were starting a religion (don’t worry – I’m not), you’d be the goddess I’d worship. I can’t thank you enough, Julia, for The Artist’s Way. I am just finishing my third week, and I am really starting to internalize my affirmations. I had a spare hour-and-a-half yesterday afternoon, and I simply sat down and began working on a new chapter of my spiritual autobiography, not caring about how far I got, or who might interrupt me, or when I might be able to pick it up again – all frustrations that have previously thwarted my attempts at a “regular” writing program. It was so much more fulfilling – all because I said, “I am willing to learn to let myself create.” Thank you so much, Julia.

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