Confidence & the Creativity Gap

The Creativity Gap is any point in the creative process where you fall off the wagon – the spots between dream and do where you get derailed.

creativity gap creative process confidence

Since Graham Wallas’ 1926 model of the creative process, the first of its kind, the focus of creativity has been on the process, not the person. 

In this series, The 5 Stages of Creativity & You, I focus on the process you go through during each stage of the creative process and show you how, why and where you may lose the confidence to continue and are in danger of falling into the Creativity Gap. Today the focus is on stage 3, DO.

DO is the stage we all think about when we think about creativity – the actual creating – paint to canvas, pencil to paper, pieces put together. On a good day, this is where you fall into the zone, that out-of-body creative high known as flow. All is right with the world, your art, you.

This is what it means to be an artist, to live in this zone of blissful self-expression where colors sing, words excite and inspire; where movement, strokes and lines are fluid; where your heart and soul feel at home.

Other times, other days, you’re just not feeling it, nothing is working, you have no talent and might as well give up. Yep, you’ve fallen into the Creativity Gap.

The Creativity Gaps in the DO stage of the creative process run deep

Confidence –  starts out high, lowers as you move forward
Commitment – can lose interest when your work is not living up to your expectations
Concentration – distractions interrupt the path to flow & weaken confidence
Certainty – can’t handle the ongoing uncertainty of the creative process
Criticism – self-talking yourself right out of creating

You know you are not alone in these creativity gaps, right? Even the most visible, successful and happy-go-lucky artists slip and tip into these gaps. It’s human nature. As odd and contrary as it sounds, these gaps are human survival mechanisms. Unfortunately, they are terribly outdated and generally unnecessary. But oh, they are strong and persistent aren’t they? Avoiding the Creativity Gaps of Stage 3 takes a lot of practice and know-how.


GOOD NEWS for YOU! One of the ways to bridge the gap is regular reminders of the rewards and benefits of a regular creative practice. Due to popular demand, I am bringing back my year long, connection offering, 52 PickUp. Click HERE to get more information and take advantage of the November discount.

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Creative Conversation
with Jo Taylor

“I hope my dilemma is not unique, but I often feel like I’m the only fool who gets into this bind.”

Like everyone, I am busier than I ever intend to be. Happily I am busy doing things I love to do (being retied from teaching public school), but I get so far behind on commitments that I tell myself I won’t get out my art supplies and projects until I finish editing the book I have contracted to edit or until I get my writing prompt prepared for the next adult poetry writing group I lead, or….

This bargaining begins to turn in to resentment. I realize I would be happier and probably more productive if I just make my mess, but I already set up the deal. I don’t like letting myself off the hook. It’s a vicious circle: procrastinate, bargain, resent the bargain, so procrastinate, bargain again, resent some more…

So the question is: How do I even it all out, my obligations (once I take them on) and my play? Intellectually, I know the/an answer, but emotionally I don’t accept it so I continue riding the tilt-a-whirl.

If you would like to join in the Creative Conversation or respond to one, please comment below on you  creative conundrum, solution or response to this post.


  1. Here’s where I often fall into the creativity gap, I start out inspired to create, gather the necessary “stuff”‘, start off fully committed and intending to follow through regularly. But my ADD self gets bored and distracted by the next new thrilling thing, or I get busy with life’s never ending to-dos or come home exhausted from work. So right now, there are several canvases waiting for me to revisit them, a beaded scarf mostly done, several crochet scarves I want to gift for Christmas and an art journal I promised myself I would work on daily. I have decided this week that every evening I would spend half an hour working on the scarves and half an hour reading my book club book before going to bed. Small steps each day dedicated to things that make my heart sing, no guilt allowed.