Get your writing done first because it’s not easy to crank up the momentum and confidence needed to fill your pages.
After breakfast, I launched into decluttering…even before shaving and cleaning up. Not only did I feel grungy [counterproductive in its own right]
- A. I wasn’t writing.
- B. I was wasting that precious morning buzz [i.e. creative energy] on sifting through and boxing ‘stuff’.
- C. I didn’t crank out that initial ‘first 100 words’ on paper, a practice I started when I homed in on mindfully ‘showing up’ to my creative projects.
- D. I was getting annoyed by A. and B and C.
Luckily, choosing to reconnect with a former student and a former teaching colleague, I did get my keyboarding fingers moving and real words [with value, even!] danced across the screen. AND I’ve even resisted the urge to turn on the AFC Championship game. AND I’ve chosen to not answer a text message till today’s words are done. [Thank you, thank you. You can stop rolling your eyes now.]
So, I guess the lesson for today is: Don’t give up hope. You can rise above all kinds of obstacles, even the self-imposed ones, and move forward with your projects.
NOTE: If your word processor offers the ‘Focus’ feature that displays just your text–no distracting menus, programs running in the background–give it a try.
This book can be found here. [Not an affilliate link.]
I posted this over a year ago, but it’s a favorite and it boils down our ‘showing up to work’ to five minutes.
[Unfortunately, the SoundCloud link is no longer active.]
Image from Google’s online timer
From 201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity,
one of Joel at Lifehack’s ‘rejuvenating tips’:
Carry a notebook everywhere.
Hey, they’re just notes. But my observation of the uncooperative nature of computers nudged me toward drawing a parallel with some people. Possible subject for a short essay or blog post.
I also like the story possibilities of YouTube alerting a teacher to a student straying a bit from the assigned work.
It’s certainly easy to jot down these ideas in a notebook, but sometimes the alternative tool forces one to rethink key points and make different connections. I also think the digital nature can afford writers/creatives a few options to branch their work toward other projects/products.
In revisiting Seth Godin’s Rules for Working in a Studio, I would say I adhered to the following:
- Don’t hide your work.
- Upgrade your tools.
- Change something.
- Obsess about appropriate quality; ignore perfection.
You’ve been given well-conceived rules and guidelines, but still, whether it’s resistance or overwhelm or brain-freeze, you’re getting nowhere.
Fear not…if you can’t get unstuck from 201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity, well, back in the mud with you!
From yesterday’s Rules for Working in a Studio, you decide to narrow the list, with some variations tailored for your growth.
‘Make big promises.’ becomes ‘Make big promises…to yourself.’ ‘Keep them.’ logically follows.
And you merge ‘Don’t hide your work.’ with ‘Don’t hide your mistakes’ and ‘You are not your work. Embrace criticism.’ [Challenging, for sure.]
Here are a few more serious items you might consider…courtesy of Seth Godin.
One that I revisit regularly. Give the audio version a try. [SoundCloud link on the page.]
In the survey below, feel free to let me know which points settled into your writing ethic. Thanks.