#CreateIt22: Help for blocked creatives

It wasn't over for me, and it's not over for you. Weary creative, it's time to leave block behind. #CreateIt22 Share on X

What is #CreateIt22?

Think catch-22, but instead of a dilemma, #CreateIt22 is the solution to one – breaking out of creative block. Share on X

We’ve all been blocked. Writers, artists, musicians – it doesn’t matter what creative outlet you have. Some time, somewhere, you’ve found yourself blocked.

Chronic illness, financial challenges, life stress – these things nearly took my storytelling from me. Finally, a few years ago, I decided I was done with letting anything get in my creative way. I found a reliable, effective way to create something new every single day—and I want you to learn it. Yes, for free.

What changed? My understanding of creation.

All of this is what led me to build CreateIt22 as a community of formerly blocked creatives, working toward a habit of daily creation. The name itself “CreateIt22” is actually a nod to catch-22, which is a bad situation that can’t be escaped because its nature and limitations are contradictory. This will be incredibly relevant, as you’ll see.

The idea is that as blocked creatives, we are in that place; when we try to create, we end up spinning our wheels, ending tired and frustrated and without anything to show for our efforts. When we don’t try, we end up doubting, fearful, and wondering if we’re actually frauds—like we never really artists or writers or creatives at all.

CreateIt22 is the solution to this catch-22. Broadly speaking, it only has two steps. Two steps to getting unblocked for good. Two steps to beating your creative block forever. Two steps to being the kind of person who can and will make new things every day.

Those two steps are simple. I didn’t say they’re easy. They require unlearning bad habits, not just learning new ones. They require training thinking with new definitions for familiar words. They require that you fight the mindset that got you into this mess, reevaluating what you consider valuable, and why. 

These two steps will help you face yourself (your greatest foe) and the challenge of a consciously shaped artistic identity.

Creative, you can do this. I know you can. I was able to, and I’m literally not firing on all cylinders. CreateIt22 is designed so anyone can take these steps. I’m sharing them because I want you creating, too. I want you freed from block. I’m one beggar, showing others where to find a feast.

Come with me, and I’ll show you how this works.

#CreateIt22 is a reliable, effective way to create something new EVERY SINGLE DAY. Share on X

Who is #CreateIt22 For?

Artists, writers, graphic novelists, musicians—anyone who struggles to do creative work.

For many of us, the past few years have been brutal. Because it’s designed to take pressure off and not add it on, #CreateIt22 exists anywhere you, the creative, happens to be. It requires no membership, and will never include any kind of fee. You can join the Discord for direct community, or you can use the hashtag on any platform to find others like you. Wherever you are, whatever you’re into, you can create with #CreateIt22.

This isn't a membership thing. There's no money involved. #CreateIt22 is literally one (un)blocked creator telling another where to find hope. Share on X

How do you do #CreateIt22?

There are two core principles:

  1. Choose to create one new thing every day. This means one sentence, one new line, one new note. You’re welcome (encouraged) to do more, but anybody can do one sentence a day, especially with tools available. We make that one new thing no matter how we’re feeling.
  2. Choose to create it wrong. How many times have you stopped creating because you didn’t know the right way to go? The right scene? The right notes? The right colors? A key to daily creation is learning not to fear doing it wrong. Writing/drawing/creating garbage doesn’t mean failure. It only brings you closer to doing it right.
This works. Reliably. We're producing graphic novels, toy photography, fantasy and sci-fi books and short stories, and all kinds of art. #CreateIt22 Share on X

The #CreateIt22 Support System

  • We’re very active in Discord, where we brainstorm, share one another’s triumphs and struggles, and encourage each other to break out of creative block.
  • We often share what we’re doing daily on social media with the hashtag, #CreateIt22.
  • I make pep-talk videos every day on multiple platforms, and yes, I reply to anyone who reaches out.
  • It’s easy to feel alone when stuck in creative block. You’re not.
We work together, sharing our imperfect efforts and encouraging each other every day. #CreateIt22 is a NO-SHAME zone. Share on X

Now for the personal stuff.

I started #CreateIt22 because I had two small strokes, and found myself horrifically blocked.

I’m a published author, but I feared I’d never be able to do it again. I questioned my identity. My worth. I grieved the loss of my stories, absolutely sure that I’d never be able to get them out. The key, for me, was realizing that the standard I had for creating things was what was holding me back.

Who says it only counts if it’s 3 pages, 500 words, a completed sketch? Who says it has to be a good first draft, as if napkin-sketches weren’t absolutely valid creation?

I realized that if I set the bar to ONE new thing each day, and chose to permit myself to do it wrong or ugly or just plain unreadable, I could write. I can write a bad sentence. Anyone can. I write a wrong sentence. Anyone can.

Doing so is what saved my creative life. Creation is inertia. Once I began moving, I could find my way to the right words again. So can you.

My fear that I COULDN’T be productive, or that whatever I did produce was bad, had frozen me. It was a block I feared I'd never break – until I did. Creation. Is. Inertia. #CreateIt22 Share on X

#CreateIt22 is for goals you can conquer in your situation

Physical limitations are real. Chronic illness. Tiredness. Pain. I have Fibromyalgia. Sometimes my hands don’t work – so I taught myself to use voice-to-text, and I can still do one sentence a day.

Mental and emotional limitations are real. Life often leaves us with very little left for our art. Brain fog is especially common in these pandemic days – which is why it’s crucial we allow ourselves to make things that are kind of terrible.

There is help. When I’m not sure what to write next or where the scene goes, I mix it up. There are prompts. There are ways around our own minds giving us nothing to work with.

Even the wrong words move you in the direction I want to go. This is the biggest, most crucial step. Creation is inertia – and if I’m creating garbage, I am not stuck. I can create today – I just have to be willing to accept that it might be garbage.

Movement forward is still movement, no matter how small. Don't let fear keep you from breaking free of creative block. Creation. Is. Inertia. #CreateIt22 Share on X

Where do I find #CreateIt22?

We’re currently on all the social media platforms below using the hashtag, #CreateIt22. Jump in wherever you’re comfortable.

You don’t need a membership.

You don’t need money.

All you need to do is choose to make something new, and allow it to be newborn and messy.

See you there.

Join me: #CreateIt22. Let’s go make something new.