I have been back working on my book, the next edit has to be in the first week in March and I was really stressing myself out about sitting down at the computer and writing, things kept getting in my way, I was procrastinating and then getting myself worked up that I hadn’t sat down and started working on it again…
On Thursday I was walking down the street listening to my latest audiobook (Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert) and I suddenly realised I don’t need to be sitting at my laptop to work on my book… I found a newsagents, bought a notepad, sat in a coffee shop and started to write.
I wrote pretty much for an hour straight, then I had a meeting about starting volunteering at the Oxfam book shop, when that was over I was walking through Buchanan Galleries and I was compelled to sit down and write some more… I did find a bench to sit on, and I sat and wrote for about another 20mins…
I got home and more words, and more words and more words… I pretty much rewrote 3 chapters which had been a whole lot more than I had over the previous weeks.
The difference? Something that Elizabeth Gilbert said about her writing, that sometimes she would just get 15mins done on a break, or she would write on the bus or train, or in a waiting room. Whenever she had time or something came to her she would get it on paper… Creativity can’t be forced.
I believe that part of my problem had been my discipline, I had allocated certain times in my calendar that I ‘had’ to write. Looking at the feedback and reviews of the first draft I know exactly why some chapters were not too bad and some made no sense… I had been trying to force my creativity even when it wasn’t there.
This is just one of the examples of when procrastination can be a good thing. Sometimes when we try to force thoughts, feelings or ideas they are just not there – that’s probably why we get so many great ideas in the shower or when we are about to fall asleep.
I now have a notepad in my bag at all times and stop and write as and when thoughts and ideas come to me so that I can sit and type them up at a later date.
The next time that you are needing an idea or some creativity, allow yourself some time out, get that Big Magic audiobook, meditate… do something to just give your head some space and see how that goes for you…
I would love to hear what sort of things help clear your creative blocks