Category Archives: writing

My Creative Struggle (And What I Want To Do About It)

My Eternal Creative Struggle of Heart vs Mind. Image credit goes to http://www.zastavki.com/

My Eternal Creative Struggle of Heart vs Mind.
Image credit goes to http://www.zastavki.com/

 

I’m trying to figure out why I don’t write more… why don’t I share my thoughts and ideas more often than I do? Why do I so often have this feeling of perpetual stuckness?

What’s strange is that I don’t even think I have writers block per se… I have a lot of ideas; it’s just that most of the time whenever I finally sit down to consider an action plan, or sit down to write out particular thoughts and ideas to share online or turn into a story or a product or whatever, the ideas seem to crumble up before my very eyes and suddenly seem entirely worthless and unnecessary and no longer worth pursuing or sharing or bringing forth into this reality.

…This causes me to feel that I should immediately discard the idea, and instead think up of different projects to pursue, or different topics to write about. But sadly the same thing happens all over again, creating this never-ending cycle of nothingness and stuckness.

I know my actions haven’t remotely been echoed by my desires or ambition…. (At least as of late, although they have to some degree in the past.)  I can’t help but feel self-conscious and embarrassed about this fact. I wouldn’t be surprised if any onlookers might easily deem me to be completely devoid of any personal ambition, goals or desires; and yet, there’s so much I want and desire in my heart and for my life — obviously there’s a huge misalignment here.

Whether subconsciously or not (I’m not entirely sure which it is — likely a bit of column A and B), I’m pretty sure that I’m consistently sabotaging myself because I have this feeling that, because it’s been a while since (what I deem to be) my last successful creative project, I deeply need/want my next creative project to be a grand achievement and a huge success. I suppose I feel as though I’ve got to prove myself — to both myself and the rest of the world.

This is a terrible amount of pressure to put on oneself, take it from me. It can be debilitating and paralyzing. 

Additionally, I think perhaps the more time passes since my last creative project, the more difficult it seems for me to get going in a creative capacity once again. I suppose this makes sense if you think of this as a physics problem. An object at rest stays at rest, while an object in motion stays in motion — until an outside force acts upon it. I’m lacking momentum, and losing more and more momentum as time progresses.

As the sum of our parts, we humans may indeed be more than mere objects; but our bodies definitely fall under the realm of objectification, and therefore these same rules can apply to our goals as well, due to the fact that nearly all goals would require physical action on our part in order to achieve them.

So how do you get an object at rest to get its ass in gear and get into action? And, preferably, to stay in action? 

Action requires action. Force requires force. Internal must become external in order for potential to transition into the realm of the real and kinetic.

I find it pretty easy to stick with short term 21 day or 30 day challenges… I’ve done a lot of them in the past, all with relative success. For the most part, however, these short-term challenges have existed outside the creative realm. My past outcomes have taught me that completing such short-term challenges is relatively easy for me, but my main problem seems to exist at the end of a such a challenge: Once a challenge is over, I tend to give myself permission to relax… and as a result, it seems I almost always entirely lose the momentum I gained during the challenge or trial, leaving me off not much better off than where I was before — save, perhaps, for gaining the knowledge that I am indeed capable of exercising willpower and self-discipline for pre-determined bursts of time like 30 day challenges.

Hmmmm…

This being the case, and having some amount of insight into my own temperament and psychology, perhaps it will be a good idea for me to approach my future creative projects as mere 30-day challenges (or maybe even as long as a 60-day challenge, which I’ve also successfully done in the past).  This way, if my creative endeavor doesn’t turn out to be the grand success and achievement that I hope or want it to be, I figure that my ego will at least have an out in knowing that it/I was limited by the pre-determined time span that was allotted to complete the project.

Another of the key factors that I’ll have to be sure to implement in this approach to creative challenges will be to include the prerequisite of publicly sharing the finished project to some degree or another. This could mean submitting it to others for assessment and feedback, or perhaps even full-on publishing (if it’s the sort of thing that can be published). Either way, I will have to ensure that others WILL see it. I have to ensure that I’ll somehow be accountable to others in terms of completing my creative project such that I’ll be at least somewhat satisfied with my creative achievement at the end of the predetermined time period.

I have other possible ideas to turn this approach into a coaching program for other creative wannabes. If I have success with this, I’ll definitely want to consider that possibility.

At the present moment, I’m currently committed to a strange 30 day experience in Anaheim, California at the Disney properties with my beloved and partner in crime, Steve Pavlina. (You can read about our experiences here at his blog.)

This Disney experience has been occupying my time for the past 2.5 weeks, and is going to occupy my time for nearly another two weeks. In the meantime, however, I’m contemplating projects to consider for short-term creation to take on afterwards. My goal is to put out something in the world that has the potential of creating a stream of passive income for myself (even if it’s just a trickle to start) while simultaneously having some sort of positive ripple in the world, … such as the possibility of publishing and selling e-books online, whether via Amazon or this website, or both. One idea I have for such e-books would be to create some vegan recipe e-books, as my 15-year anniversary of becoming vegan is just under three weeks away! I have a few other e-book ideas too.

I’m excited about trying out this approach, because I think it’s something that might actually work for me and produce some long-desired (and hopefully long-term!) results. I’m also looking forward to sharing my progress and journey with this approach here on my blog.

In the meantime… are there any topics you’d like to see me write about to include in a possible future e-book? Or some other medium you’d like to see me explore and produce? If so I’d love to hear about it! Please let me know in the comments.

Since I’m at Disneyland… it somehow seems appropriate to finish this blog post with a creative wish for the future:

“To Infinity, and Beyond!”  ~ Buzz Lightyear

🙂

 

 

Creative Use Of Mind

“All the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I’m currently reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

I had first started reading it many years ago, I believe back in 2009 or 2010, but had never finished it. In fact, I don’t think I had gotten very far into it at all. There’s something about reading Tolle that tends to put me to sleep. 😉 Even so, I was drawn to pick it up again, and I’m glad I’m progressing further in the book than I had my last attempt; I’m currently more than half-way through.

I recently read a paragraph that I found to ring very true for me, and thus I wanted to share it here with you as well. It’s just one paragraph, but I realized that it describes the process I use when I’m able to write anything that doesn’t come from a place that seems overly forced or coerced or from a sense of creative will. Rather, this process describes writing from a sense of being.

Being is flow.

I’ll share it with you now:

CREATIVE USE OF MIND

If you need to use your mind for a specific purpose, use it in conjunction with your inner body. Only if you are able to be conscious without thought can you use your mind creatively, and the easiest way to enter that state is through your body. Whenever an answer, a solution, or a creative idea is needed, stop thinking for a moment by focusing attention on your inner energy field. Become aware of the stillness. When you resume thinking, it will be fresh and creative. In any thought activity, make it a habit to go back and forth every few minutes or so between thinking and an inner kind of listening, an inner stillness. We could say: don’t just think with your head, think with your whole body.

 

I’m going to consciously practice this method next time I work on one of my creative projects. Perhaps I may even be able to refine the process and share that with you as well.

What are your favorite methods for tapping into creative flow? Feel free to share in the comments. 🙂