Clients often tell me: “I need to just sit down and write.”
This sounds reasonable, right? I mean, just DO IT!
But there’s something sort of punitive about this. The feeling I get is like being told to sit down and shut up. Be quiet. Toe the line.
Maybe it’s all my formative years in Catholic school with the nuns, but any kind of forcing or punitive vibe one my creating just doesn’t work. I can’t even use the word ‘discipline’ because it brings to mind punishment rather than focus. Dustpan spanking, anyone?
If you’re feeling stuck creatively and hear words in your head telling you what to do, and you’re not following that voice, perhaps it’s because the vibe is more of a punishment than an invitation. I mean, really. Who wants to be told to sit down and do anything, even if it is our own voice?
It may be that sitting down to write is not your style. Perhaps standing and jamming on the keyboard Tori Amos style would be better for you. Or bouncing on a big ball along with your typing.
But, honestly, most of the tips and hacks for getting our work done avoid the real issue. We’re scared. It’s scary to write our truth. It’s daunting to invent worlds and inhabit them with characters we will care about. It’s scary as hell to ‘put ourselves out there’.
What works for me and my clients is to make a commitment. And honor it. And honor our own way of doing things. If writing in the cafe works for you, do it. If writing standing up makes it easier to be with the discomfort, do it.
I invite you to bring pleasure to the process, not punishment. What delights you and your inner writer or artist? Maybe you ‘reward’ yourself after creating. Maybe you sip the cappuccino while you create.
I’m working on a writing project – NOT a book – that is daunting as hell. So I bring extra compassion and kindness. This does not mean bailing on my writing dates. It does not meaning skipping writing when I don’t ‘feel like it’. (We usually never feel like it.) It means showing up for writing dates in ways that help me focus, follow through and finish – in my way.
This approach to creating is the very foundation of my work as a coach. We each have to find the process that works for us. Take all suggestions and ’tips’ that work for you and adapt them for yourself. Make up your own crazy rituals. And if a dustpan spanking works to get your work done, well, more power to you.
Whatever your rituals for making, make them work for you. Don’t bully yourself into it; you will just rebel against the meanness. As well you should.
What pleasures help you to get your creative work done? Share what works for you below!