So I’m kind of killing two birds with one stone with this post but hey, surely efficiency is a solid character trait.
I wanted to write about my new habit which is regular writing. You see the thing is, I wasn’t doing it. I kept thinking about it, wishing I was doing more of it and then…nada. I did nothing. All talk no action. I’ve therefore decided to do it, just frickin get on with the job. It sounds simple and it is. But, as anyone who has ever tried any sort of creative endeavour will tell you, it isn’t all that simple.
I am a master of procrastination. M-A-S-T-E-R! It’s not that I don’t love writing once I get stuck into it but it isn’t always easy, fun and I’m certainly always guaranteed to find something ‘more important’ that I need to do i.e. socks to be sorted, a TED talk to watch, eyebrows to pluck, chicken to marinate, toilet to clean, a gym workout, Facebook stalking and usually several trips to the pantry for surveillance of pantry contents/testing of pantry contents. And that’s just today’s list of ‘jobs.’ The thing is there will always be something more important unless I choose to make my writing a priority.
I devour books about the creative process. I love Seth Godin, Elizabeth Gilbert and Steven Pressfield to name a few who have all written beautifully about the challenge of creative work and the barriers which present themselves to artists. The quote I really like from Steven Pressfield’s book, The War on Art, hardly sounds all that profound but its simplicity and plain-speaking call to action is endearingly attractive.
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
This advice is empowering because it strips away all the other loud noise and bullsh*t that lodges itself in our heads and takes up valuable real estate. I am someone who finds myself paralysed by a combination of being out of my comfort zone, worrying about what people will think, fears of not being good enough and worrying about hurting people’s feelings. I can tell you none of that stuff has automatically has gone away (although I am a work in progress) but I can turn up and write by following this advice. I bypass all that rubbish because the stakes have changed and objective and the ‘why’ behind my writing has shifted. I’m just a girl trying.
I also now get up an hour earlier to make the time to write before going to work. I’m a morning person and my head isn’t exhausted from the business of the day that hits as soon as I close my front door.
I believe in the power of changing small habits. Just one…for now. Experimenting with things that subtly fine-tune the way we occupy precious hours in our busy lives is important and can be profound if you’re up for the challenge.
What’s one small thing you can change to prioritise something you value? I’d love to know!