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The Walls We Hide Behind: Projection and Protection

David Sherry
2 min read

The obstacles to creativity are internal.

Writer's block and other common versions of it are just one way that this internal stuck point gets vocalized.

But other obstacles appear as creations.

And people talk much less about the obstacles that we create.

We have heard about writer's block...

But what about writers' projection?

Writers projection is when we hide, by creating an image of ourselves in our work that we must uphold.

We project that we are comfortable, confident, or project that we know everything.

We project because we want others to see and validate us.

This also happens in conversations.

One wall is hiding, like a block, we don't share our ideas or what we're truly thinking.

Another wall is a projection, we attempt to appear smart, or funny, or we attempt to manipulate the other.

On some level well all pick up on this. And so writers or talker's projections appear at the surface to be positive and create momentum.

But ultimately they create more obstacles than they do progress.

Either way, we don't connect with ourselves in the ways we are able.

And either way, we don't connect with others to the fullest capacity.

When you speak and write without projection, or hiding, or being blocked...

You write things that you didn't know you knew or didn't know you thought.

You speak things that come naturally, and you don't do anything inefficient.

It is inefficient to have a block, just as it is inefficient to waste words on a page.

These pockets of inefficiency are insecurity.

This isn't about any rules that would be obvious to follow.

It's not about word count, or length of speech, or even tone.

See, you naturally know all of this, when to add more, when to pause.

Mastering a craft hones your ability to intuitively know this. But I don't believe it takes so long to master.

The hard part is being aware of when you're in a state of projection or protection.

The hard part is realizing that the wall of writer's block is an obstacle you create due to discomfort of yourself in the situation.

This image we uphold (projection) or hide from (protection) changes the course of how we act and how we create.

Ask yourself:

Am I trying to talk myself up (in this writing, conversation, or creation)?

Am I using energy to manipulate, or comfortable share a perspective?

Do I need to be right? Funny? Confident? Perfect...?

Ask yourself:

Is this wall, this block, a form of protection? What am I hiding from?

What if I'm not giving myself, these ideas, a chance?

At the end of the day, as Seth Godin says...

"There's the fear, now dance with it."

And ultimately, when we create...

We're dancing with ourselves.

xx David

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