The Struggle Is Real
Anyone who strives to be creative has felt the effects of resistance – that fear that stands between the work our soul aspires to do and the practical actions needed to make it happen.
The struggle is real.
Any of us who has created something from scratch, started with a blank canvas, lept without a safety net knows how paralysing the fear of failure can be. It can be very intimidating to leave the security of your starting point A on an uncharted journey towards a nebulous point B.
Commitment and Resistance lie at opposite ends of the same axis. When you are less committed to your work, you’ll feel more resistance, procrastination and resistance.
Commit to turning pro.
The way to defeat resistance is by making a commitment to your project and sticking to it. By turning pro and showing up consistently to work on your creative project, you’ll discover that you make headway.
Seeking perfection from the beginning isn’t how it works.
Everyone who created a masterpiece has been through the part where it’s a complete disaster and they feel like throwing in throwing in the towel. The part where the project you envisaged at the start seems to have devolved into a horrible mess. This is where pushing through allows the opportunity for something new to rise from the ashes – a result you couldn’t have imagined before you began.
Focus by eliminating distractions.
We procrastinate by waiting for inspiration, when most days we just need to sit down and get to work. By dedicating time and effort in our project consistently the work will get done, the details will reveal themselves and you will find yourself with a draft or prototype you can begin to refine.
I have found that for writing, the flowstate app is a wonderful way to get ideas down without giving myself the opportunity to be distracted. The software is designed to keep you on focus. When you begin a new document you specify a length of time (I usually choose fifteen minutes). As you begin to type on an otherwise blank screen, the timer begins its countdown
You have to keep typing – getting your ideas down in a flurry of creativity, because if you stop typing for more than two or three seconds before the timer is up, any text you’ve written on the document is irretrievably destroyed, like a sandcastle on a beach is washed away by the tide.
I use it to draft most of my blog posts. After deciding my topic and title I’ll type for fifteen minutes in a stream of consciousness. Once the timer gets to zero, my words are safe, I can slow down and edit what I’ve written for clarity.
Now that you’ve pushed past the resistance and started your project, let’s talk about planned procrastination.
Once you’re into the creative process you will sometimes find you run up against problems or challenges you don’t know how to solve. Taking a break is often more effective than beating your head against the proverbial brick wall.
Planned procrastination is a scheduled break to allow your subconscious mind a moment to process your project at its own pace. Mason Currey’s book Daily Rituals reveals that many famous creatives of the past scheduled a long walk as part of their routine and considered them essential to their creativity.
Be biased towards action.
- Tackle resistance by committing to approach your creative projects professionally.
- Adopt the mindset of doing consistent work rather than perfect work.
- Planned procrastination can support your work rather than help you avoid it.