To be creative you have to be willing to destroy

The other day I came upon a chapter in something I was reading on how destruction is a necessary element in creativity. This phrase hit me with that zing of truth that happens when you recognize something you never put into words but already know to be true. When you just stop reading, and look for proof files in your head… and yeah, dammit it’s true! 

I realised I cannot think of an instance where you can create something without destroying something else in the process Let me say it right now: If there is, if you know it and I simply haven’t dug deep enough please email me or get in touch. Every available form of contacting me is here on the site!


You can apply this truth on every level ( which is often the case with truths). Here are just a few to tease your brain. 

You will be able to take it from here.


To draw something you have to be willing to destroy paper

You might argue that if it goes well, it actually elevates the value of plain paper. Yes, if it goes well, it definitely will elevate! But let’s be honest, it most often does not go well. Also to get to a point where it goes well more then it doesn’t, you have to truly destroy many many papers. Even to get paper, you must be willing to destroy a tree. 

I know that to some people this will sound almost banal, but I have experienced it myself and I have seen people going through it when they start using a brush and paint  (instead of a pencil that can be erased so produces much less anxiety). People become so afraid of making a mistake and ruining paper they just sit there, blocked, frozen, afraid to make a stroke of paint on paper. Most often they do push through the block but their poor tense hand just barely stumbles through one stiff stroke. Every invitation to “just let it flow” is met with “ I want to but I can’t, what if it’s no good and I just ruin the paper”. 

I understand this! I feel it!

But imagine another way. What if even their inexperienced and unskilled hand had a thought behind it that said 

“I can ruin this paper like a baby puppy completely unaware of any consequences of his actions except joy and burning curiosity”. 

Imagine the freedom you might feel and express! 

When you realize this particular destruction is necessary and unavoidable and accept it, you are free to actually try. To do your best without expanding two thirds of your energy on feeling guilty.

And eventually, absolutely getting to a point where you are not destroying paper, but elevating it’s value with every stroke.


To create a new idea you need to destroy few old ones

You might be one of those few people that due to their youth or their pride still likes to believe that their ideas come from a vacuum of their mind, completely original and untouched by human thought. If you are, congratulations, the moment you meet the truth of this has come. Ready?!

There is no originality. Everything is sourced from someplace that already exists! 

That said, if you are not willing to take what you know apart and ruin it completely you cannot actually be creative. You can just repeat! But if you areIFYOU… ARE Oh well, then you can do some extra fun shit! All you need to do is just take whatever tickles your heart/ brain/ soul/ genitalia, whichever chakra you mostly operate from, take a hammer to it and let it rip. It’s all fair game. 


To create a new direction you need to destroy an old one

I know what you’re thinking. I don’t need to destroy it, I can simply abandon it. I am going to “yes, but”  you here: 

Abandonment is a form of destruction too ( all my abandonment issues peeps can testify to this). 

Once you abandon a direction a potential future of it dies. This applies to career plans, relationships, ideas of self, anything really. A version of you or a direction of life doesn’t actually exist until you take it. Hence, taking any direction is creating it and destroying one you didn’t take.


Also, one important thing:

Destruction has many forms. It can be as literal as taking scissors to an image or more metaphorical like questioning a belief. I would say anything that doesn’t just accept and repeats what was received at face value is a certain form of destruction. But don’t be afraid to really get in there. “Take it apart”, use it, without mercy or guilt. 

Keep in mind though,  that destruction is pointless if it stops there. 

If you don’t create something afterwards, destruction has little value. 


So there you go. I hope this was almost enough proof for you. To be honest, I hope it’s just enough proof for you to start looking for your own proof or disproof and finding many of both. After all if I don’t destroy this idea on creativity I won’t be able to have a new one. :-)


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