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All Chutes, No Ladders
How to embrace the creative slippery slope
I was never really fond of the games Chutes and Ladders. Mostly, it just felt like a game of chance where the game was actively laughing at your circumstances. Now, I realize that life can feel that way at times, and maybe the game makers knew this and built it into a game.
It’s quite simple: roll the dice. Move your piece. Maybe you’ll hit a ladder and take a shortcut up the board. Or… maybe you’ll hit a chute and slide all the way back down the board.
I sometimes feel this game of up and downs when I’m doing creative work. Maybe I find a new technique, new medium, or new inspiration that unlocks a creative project. Sometimes, though, I take a technique all the way to its logical conclusion and it leaves me sliding my way back down the board.
Perhaps you’re in one of those phases where the board is all chutes, no ladders; that dark night of the soul where all creative effort feels like you are trying to claw your way up an active mudslide.
Oof. All I can say is that I’ve been there. Maybe I AM THERE right now. I think, for me, the only way to get through it is to write my way through; to create my way through the scuffle against the hidden forces blocking my inspiration. The difference between making and breaking may just be the grit to be defiant against the obstacles in your way.
So, if you’re looking at the board and feels like it’s all chutes, no ladders; hang in there. Think of the process as long as winding like the board, and it’s okay to slide down. If you need a pep talk, reach out. Let’s be friends!