Category Archives: Kicking Procrastion in the Ass

More Awesome NOW: Overcoming Procrastination [June 2019 Challenge]

Overcoming Procrastination: More Awesome NOW… [Photo by Juli Moreira]

I mentioned in my last blog post that I’d loooove to post here in my blog at least once a month. It’s been about 1.5 months since that last post, so all considering that’s not too bad. But still, it’s obvious that I tend to procrastinate when it comes to writing and this blog.

Well, it just so happens that right now I’m participating in a 30-day procrastination challenge! It’s a group challenge for the member’s of our Conscious Growth Club (CGC). Participation isn’t mandatory, and those who choose to participate can define their commitment to this challenge in any way they wish.

My approach to participating in this challenge is as follows: I made a list of all the things I’ve been putting off for quite some time, or simply tend to put off in general. The items on the list are all over the place. It ranges from some basic chores that I’d like to attend to; sorting, organizing, and decluttering of all kinds; mending clothes or sewing on buttons that have fallen off; getting an eye exam, and then getting new glasses; reading (I love reading, but just tend to put it off); and of course, writing in this blog! And the list goes on. My list is pretty long. The challenge I’ve given myself is to work on something from my list each day in June. And hey, every day I’m making progress! And that’s great to see. 🙂

As of today, a couple other CGC members also kicked off a blogging challenge where the goal is to write and post a blog entry once a week. Heck, I’m thinking of combining both challenges – so if I participate in the blog challenge and write/publish a post on one day, I figure I can also count that towards the overcoming procrastination challenge too since blogging is also on my to-do list for that challenge.

One thing I love about participating in challenges is the accountability factor. This is probably a reason why I did so well in school, too – being graded on assignments, projects, and tests is a form of accountability. Having that external structure really tends to kick my ass in gear. I suppose I felt a desire to prove myself and my potential. Plus, I tend to have a little bit of a competitive streak in me, and that inspires me to keep up and excel in a challenge – and to hopefully come out on top.

When I was in middle school and high school, I won sooo many awards for highest achievement in various subjects. I was such an academic nerd and over-achiever in that area. But, without external structure, pressure, and system of accountability, I tend not to be nearly as motivated to really push myself.

The ultimate goal, I think, is to shift one’s perspective so as to be more naturally inclined or motivated to take action without that external structure and outside pressure, let alone praise and accolades. (I love praise and accolades, but I think there’s possibly a danger in that being a sole factor of motivation because then it can become the sole source of one’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem.) I believe participating in these monthly challenges will really help me (and others) to flex discipline and action muscles, as well as develop, strengthen, and maintain internal motivation and ambition. And that in turn can help to rebuild a sense of self-esteem. How awesome is that?

Last month, for May 2019, our monthly challenge in CGC was centered around fitness and exercise. I followed that one through 100%, too. In fact, I’ve participated in numerous health and fitness challenges over the past decade and a half (or so), and have been very successful in sticking to it.

One area that presents a true challenge for me, however, is that of creativity and expressing my unique truth and vision out into the world. That seems much more daunting to me. And I suppose it should– the perceived risk in putting myself out there seems oh so much higher. (But then I wonder… is it really? I guess it’s all a matter of perception.) Either way, I’m really excited about where I’ll find myself by the end of this year and beyond.

Right now I’m caught up in a semi-creative project (it involves a lot of writing, but it’s “work” and not a personal project), and I don’t think I’ll get that finished until at least September. So in the meantime, I feel like it’s unrealistic to put another creative writing project on my plate on top of what I’ve already got going work-wise. But once that mega work project is over and done with, I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into some deep creative work. And this time, I really think I’ll succeed.

I actually feel pretty confident in my ability to put in the effort on a deep creative project and to stick with it through til the end. I haven’t felt that sense of self-assurance in myself in a while. …It’s an exciting feeling to have!

What about you? What motivates you to kick your own ass in life? What are your hopes and dreams? What do you want to achieve? And how successful have you been in holding yourself accountable? Are you ready to create more awesome NOW?

And with that, my dear friend, I’ll you with some words for thought:

The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure.

If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Creative Goal: Writing a Screenplay in a Week (or Less)

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash.

Have you ever wanted to write a screenplay some day? I do!

I’ve been wanting to write a screenplay forever. I’ve started one at least a couple times, but then stopped and never finished. Ugh!

I think my tendency towards perfectionism just makes we want to scrap something all together if it’s not working or gelling from the get-go, instead of putting in earnest continuous work to improve it. Also, I have a tendency to want to work solo because I have a weird hang-up about sharing work in progress (and being judged or critiqued on something that isn’t yet complete… which is ultimately hilarious since my last couple — or even handful — of Fringe plays definitely weren’t complete when premiere time came). …Not a good hang-up to have when it comes to creative work!

Anyway, so, that all said… I’m working on a new screenplay! Pretty much starting today. I have the barest of bones laid out, not even enough for a full skeleton outline yet. But I don’t want to fall into a trap of endless procrastination and perfectionism.

My goal is to write an entire first draft of a full length screenplay within a week. i.e. to finish the first draft and not give up on it, even if I think it sucks… because hey, after the 1st draft is done, I can rework it several times over with subsequent drafts until I’ve got something awesome that I’m proud of. …Right!? 😉

I’ve been thinking about some of my past and favorite successes with writing, and my favorite experiences seem to have had a co-creative element to them AND a time-pressure element to them. For example, one time I participated in a short playwriting contest. It was called an “InstaPlay” playwriting contest. We were given 90 minutes or so if recall, as well as a handful of elements to include (like a theme, or number and sex of the characters, and a phrase to include somewhere). Since I had self-produced my own work before, I asked if I qualified for the “Produced Playwrights” category (which is akin to the professional playwrights category). Apparently I did. So I entered that category! And even though I was competing against other “real” local playwrights that had their work produced by at least one of the major professional theatre companies in my hometown, I ended up winning first place! That was a while back now, but I was pretty pleased with the experience and it inspired me with the idea to someday write something full or feature length for professional production.

Another of my favorite playwriting experiences also involved a time-pressured deadline in the form of a 24-hour contest, and I believe we were given themes and requirements at the beginning of the 24 hour writing period as well.

In both situations I had the opportunity to see others perform and direct a stage-reading of my short plays, and both times I was quite thrilled with the results.

Anyway, I share all the above as background for a new project I’d like to undertake…

I’d like to write/create a full-length screenplay by giving myself a relatively short timeframe in which to complete the first draft.

Why do I want to do this? I think the only way I’m going to finally (and satisfactorily) write and complete a screenplay is to write one FAST, at least when it comes to the first draft. Some might say a month is a short period of time to write the first draft, but honestly, I don’t think that’s enough time pressure for me. I need something even more challenging to really fuel me.

Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky in just a few days, and it went on to win an Academy Award for Best Picture! Of course, it was just the first draft that was written in a few day, and according to one article I read, “Only about 10 % of that first Rocky script remained in the finished version of the film that would go on to win the Best Picture Oscar.” Even so, I think that’s the kind of start I need to get going.

I think it’d also be better for me to write the first draft somewhat “sloppily” in terms of formatting, because I don’t want the various aspects of the technical formatting that screenplays have to follow to bog me down and slow my writing / creative process. …I can always go back and reformat after. I have a copy of Final Draft that I purchased a while back, but I find it to be less than intuitive and having to fiddle with the different formats for each element of a screenplay can really hinder my creative process and flow.

Well, I better get to it! …If anyone wants to offer encouraging support throughout the next week or check up on my progress via comments on this blog, please do! 

 xox

p.s. I still want to delve deeper into places of vulnerability for the purpose of clearing blocked energy for ideal creative flow, but that will be put on hold for now while I work on this project.

p.p.s. If you’ve been following my blog recently, you may also recall that I mentioned I’d like to start a video/vlog-challenge sometime in the earlier part of this year. And… that plan is totally still on! I believe I will start that challenge somewhat soon… probably in a week or two (*after I finish the first draft of this screenplay). So: Stay tuned for that!!! 

 

🙂