Dear online creative,
Ye of the big dreams, formidable talent and shiny hair (watcha usin’ there, sister? Lookin’ mighty fine!)
This is a love note.
A kick-in-the-butt note.
An I-love-you-so-much-that-I’m-going-to-tell-you-the-truth note.
And it’s going to help you blast through your creativity block.
Are you ready? Here goes:
Your work is not precious, dumb-ass.
I’ll say it again: your work is not precious, dumb-ass.
Too many of us moody creative types are constantly waiting for the stars to align and the mood to strike before we knuckle down to the business of gettin’ shiz done. Too many of us are letting our formidable talents and dreams and wild, precious lives slip on by while we’re waiting for the perfect moment to overcome the creative block and get started.
But enough is enough already.
Your work — even though it’s creative, even though it’s art, even though it’s got a piece of your wrung-out heart on every page — is not precious. You don’t need to treat it with kid gloves. You don’t need to wait until 17 different preconditions are met (room is tidy, washing folded, child sleeping, desk clear, workout done, intentions set, aromatherapy oils burning, mood perfect) before starting.
Stop treating it like a sacred act that requires ritual or mood to get started, and do something revolutionary: just start.
While you’re busy lighting candles, sharpening pencils and waiting for the mood to strike, another person is out there actually writing.
And you know something about that person?
They’re going to be more successful than you. Not because they’re better (in fact, they’re probably not — I’ve seen that twinkle in your eye, I can smell the amaze-balls talent that lingers beneath your shiny-haired surface), but because they are actually Getting It Done.
That is all that matters in the world of art or creativity or business: Getting It Done.
The single best thing that you can do for your art, your work, your writing?
Get it done.
Get it started.
There’s no romance in daily word counts, but that’s how books get written. There’s very little magic in a wall-chart graph of chapter goals, but that’s how bestsellers get written. There’s no mystery to sitting your goddamn bum in your goddamn seat, but that is the only way that anyone has ever created anything ever.
In the wise words of Neil Gaiman, he of the prolific volumes of wonderful words:
“If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist — because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired or not. So you have to write when you’re not “inspired.” … And the weird thing is that six months later, or a year later, you’re going to look back and you’re not going to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written.”
The world’s got enough fairly decent poets. It doesn’t need another. What the world needs is your amazing art, your brilliant ideas, made flesh. Made real.
So stop treating them like they’re precious and just get them the frick done. Release your resistance and blast through your creativity block.
I know you can do it.
Sending you cupcake-scented love from here to there,
PS – Seriously girl, how’d you get your hair so shiny and pretty-like? Tell me in the comments. Also tell me: how do you get your fricking work done?
PPS – This was also a love note to myself. Though my hair is decidedly frizz-ball today… xx