Hey there, fabulous GRW member!

Thanks bunches for letting me come to Atlanta and visit with y'all about three of the most deadly Creative Killers and how you can become the HEROINE of your own creative journey. As promised, I've posted the reflection questions and techniques to try for you here.

Create sassy, y'all!

K-

Procrastination

Reflect:

Dr. Valerie Young, author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, poses some critical questions when it comes to self-sabotaging behaviors. Ask yourself:

  • What am I getting by procrastinating?
  • What does procrastinating help me avoid?
  • What does procrastinating help protect me from?
  • What does procrastinating help me obtain?

Techniques to Try:

  • Realize just how much you can do in a short amount of time:
    • Set the timer on your phone or microwave for two minutes (just enough time to heat up your breakfast burrito at about 80%) and spend that two minutes doing something in your kitchen—putting away clean dishes, loading the dishwasher, cleaning out the fridge. What were you able to accomplish?
    • Now, set your timer for 20 minutes and write. Absolutely no editing.
  • Prepare beforehand:
    • Before you finish your creative work for the day, take 2-3 minutes to brainstorm and write down what comes next.
    • Time blocking with very specific actions. Not just “write book” but write 1000 words on XX scene.

 

Perfectionism

Reflect:

  • What's the worst thing that's ever happened when you've created something less than perfect?
  • If you already have published books, do you and your readers always agree on which of your works you think is best?
  • What purpose is your perfectionist tendency playing in your life? What emotional or psychological needs is your behavior feeding?
  • What if someone else had produced what you produced at the level you are at right now? How would you feel about the work then?

Techniques to Try:

  • You must find a way to take the next right step. You need to separate initial content creation with the final product. Ask yourself: What would I have to do if I screw this up right now? Maybe you’d have to ditch a scene. Maybe you’d have to change a character. Maybe you’d have to trash that blog post idea. You’re cringing right now, aren’t you? Because you want it to be right, absolutely spot on from the get-go. 
  • But this is when we go back to that 20-minute (or whatever your timeframe is) sprint. If you know how long it took you to write those words, you know how much time you’re now ripping out. But if they’re draft words, you haven’t spent another 6 hours fiddling with ONE SENTENCE.
  • Give yourself strict time limits for certain parts of your process. For example, if you tend to over-edit or rip out something and start over again, reduce your timeline so you absolutely can't indulge yourself. Then prioritize the most critical aspects of the project.
  • Delegate a task that isn't a core part of your creativity process (ex. For me that might be graphics for this course). How did it turn out? Did you re-do or tweak the work? Why?
  • Purposefully let something small go out with a mistake and see if anyone notices.
  • Ask someone if they remember a big faux pas that still weighs on your mind.

 

Lack of Focus/Distraction

Reflect:

  • When you find yourself distracted or lacking focus, what were you doing just prior to that?
  • What’s your go-to form of distraction? What benefit are you getting from that distraction?
  • How are you allowing or even encouraging that distraction to occur? Door open to your office, phone right next to your writing space, FB notifications on check-me-check-me-check-me volume level?

Techniques to Try:

  • Create triggers for your brain so it knows you mean business—certain socks, sweater, chair, something you do each time to get yourself down to work.
  • Time blocking - have you noticed how some of these techniques work to battle more than one creativity killer?
  • Publicly announce your intentions to work - less on FB and more with an accountability partner or your family.