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.