When it’s your job to write, it’s far too easy to put off your personal writing projects. Lately, procrastination has been my easy and favored choice, however I’ve paid for it with a ghost of “should” that’s wrapped itself around my neck. It’s a paradox that creative people – those whose identities are sourced from what they do and create and the world the build outside of their own heads – are often suspended by their own procrastination.
I’ve been heavy and prolific in my short writing career. I also lapse into frozen moments – where I don’t create as much as I need to and my writing becomes anorexic. Procrastination comes with a shadow of failure. This is a year where I’ve learned my over-achieving mindset never helped me achieve anything. It was a form of distraction. The times I’ve sourced joy and fulfillment were never from the moments I did something perfectly. It always came from moments of feeling fear, believing in a small voice, and doing it anyway.
After several months of being estranged to a process where I’ve always sourced my identity, it feels daunting to commit to my personal projects and start writing stories again. I want to master this step by step, forget about the end result and commit to the process.
Fifteen minutes a day I can write. I’m not promising myself anything more than the time to show up and do it. I’ll have to confront my fear of not being great. I’ll have to shove those thoughts out of my mind like clearing a cluttered desk of tchotchkes. For 2016, it needs to be as simple as that.