Alternative Title: How To Avoid Procrastination by Someone Who’s Literally Procrastinating With This Post Like Right Now
It is 12:32 am, currently, as I write this.
Tomorrow is Monday, as in the day I plan to upload this.
Needless to say, I’ve procrastinated a bit with this post.
As a writer who often is in contact with many other writers and artists, I find that some creative people just have a constant outpouring of their work, always have a work in progress, and they bleed their creative work. Or, at least, it seems that way.
For me, it’s a little harder. I am drawn to telling stories, sure, but the motivation to actually go through with the task often alludes me. I have these great blank spaces, where I can’t seem to muster up anything good on the page, or creatively, I’m just stumped. My work ethic seeps out of me, sinking me down to an empty place where I feel like I can’t do anything.
Some people call this writer’s block. But calling it by such a simple term it feels trivialized, almost like it’s just a cough or a sore throat or something. Then again, this simple term reminds me that I’m not alone, and every other creative person–every other person–feels the same at times.
However, I bounce back. I find the words, floating somewhere out there in space, and I write them down. Motivation returns, as it usually does, like the cat you keep feeding out back that you see for months and then not until after a month again.
So, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned that give me motivation and inspire me to do my work, creative or otherwise.
Sometimes cleaning is literally the worst thing in the world, but other times cleaning is as much a mental thing as a physical one. I find that organizing my physical space helps to organize the mental one. Cleaning my desk, my room, etc, seems to, in a way, give my brain room to breathe and think. An organized space gives me some personal satisfaction, as well as opening up my brain to think more clearly.
However, I try and take into account that this organization doesn’t necessarily have to follow me into my creative endeavors, as chaos and creativity tend to go hand and hand in a magnificent way.
Putting personal deadlines and goals onto your projects can also help you achieve them. I am much more likely (although not always, as evident by my procrastinating this blog post) to finish or put work into a project if I tell myself that I will finish it on a certain date.
Another good way to track your progress and keep pushing forward is by bullet journaling. Sort of a new fad, bullet journaling is a simple way to keep all your ducks in a row by making everything seem much simpler and lesser than in reality. The simplest way to explain it is taking a journal, and using bullet point lists to show what you need to do in each day, month, or year.
Some people go all out and fancy with theirs (check out bullet journaling on Instagram for that), but I keep my extremely simple in order to just go over what I need to do. For a better description of bullet journaling, I suggest visiting Buzzfeed’s articles on the subject!
You’ve probably heard this literally everywhere, but walking away from your project for a time can give you some time to reconsider your ideas and reignite your passion for said project. Part of the reason I stopped my first series, The Adventures of Elizabeth Shelley, for some time was that my passion for the project kind of diminished. I stepped back, with the full intent of resuming once I regain my motivation.
Also, don’t be afraid to give up! It sounds awful, but some things weren’t meant to be. I highly recommend keeping at whatever your projects are for as long as you can, but if motivation and passion don’t reach it, then consider dropping it. There’s no shame in abandoning a personal work in progress (but if it’s for work or school, then, yeah, probably stick with it).
Lastly, I’d like to just share a few other, more media-driven motivators I’ve found to inspire me. In music terms, Spotify in particular has playlists for moods and styles which I find helpful, especially ones like Dreamy Vibes or writing playlists. For background noise with writing, I often turn to soft acoustic music, particularly songs or artists I’m unfamiliar with, so that I’m not so distracted by singing along, which…tends to happen.
Certain TV shows and movies actually inspire me a lot as well. Recently, a show on Freeform called The Bold Type really inspires me, as it describes three young women working for a magazine in New York, and I’d highly recommend in particular for any of my women (or any other, really) readers out there. These women’s stories and achievements make me determined to reach my own goals in terms of my career.
Young creators on YouTube, Wonder Woman, and Sense8 are all other visual media pieces that inspire me (there are so many more, but I’m sorry; it’s now 1:17 am; I’m trying, okay!). If you’re curious on other movies or shows that inspire me, let me know, and I’m sure I’ll have more posts about these later.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this ramble about motivation. Let me know what motivates you! And I need to go to bed (just kidding; I’ve got to finish The Matrix. It’s been a movie marathon kind of procrastination:). Leave a comment or like if you enjoyed this, and share with your friends! And hopefully, on Thursday, more Audaxi Chronicles!
With love and good vibes,