Sometimes life is not inspiring. Sometimes life is shit. There are days when I spend an embarrassingly long time deciding whether or not it’s worth washing my greasy hair, or whether I should bother tearing myself away from my phone long enough to get dressed. We all hope that if we find the key to creativity, or learn enough tips from those who have; if we learn the secret that all those other bloggers have (Who are they, these competitors? Are they real? Or, to paraphrase Nine Inch Nails, have we just made them up to hurt ourselves?) that we’ll start magically spewing artistic gold all over the place like so much creative vomit. But that really is a misconception. Some people’s ‘creativity’ is really discipline. Mine is probably nothing more sophisticated or glamorous than my hormonal cycle. I certainly have an artistic temperament, even when I am making nothing of any significance. I find it hard to focus on menial tasks and my mind wanders a lot. I get ideas at strange times and places and have no choice but to drop whatever I’m doing and follow my instincts. I believe everybody works in different ways, and creativity is something that is accessible to us all; it is a force that can be harnessed, once we learn how our individual creativity works. There are a lot of tips around for bloggers, on how to maintain your creativity, how to “stay inspired”. None of them have ever worked for me, and I’m sure many of you reading would say the same. But there are some very common hurdles to creativity we all have to get past before we allow ourselves to be artists, and so I thought I’d share some of mine. These obstacles are very difficult to overcome. But it can be done.
Fatigue: We all have those days when we get out of bed and just go, ‘nah’, and get straight back in. Especially people like me, who freelance and work at home, and have no office to go to. I find it helpful to leave my phone out of reach of my bed, or even my room, so that I’m not tempted to stay under the covers and browse Twitter until noon. Hours can go by in bed, staring at a phone. Get the fuck up and make some breakfast.
Procrastination: This is my biggest obstacle to being creative. The hardest part is figuring out where your real procrastination time is spent. Everyone knows that the time we spend on YouTube watching beauty-haul videos isn’t the most productive. But it’s a little harder to admit that your relationship drama is draining you, or your toxic friends are wasting your time. Look for the real sources of procrastination in your life. What do you do, to avoid focusing on you?
Comparison: Do. Not. Compare. Yourself. To. Anyone. Ever. Seriously, why would you do that? Don’t be silly. Focus on your own shit. Don’t look at what other people are doing. DO THE WORK. Stop looking at the other girl. She’s busy focusing on herself.
Self-Doubt: I have literally no tips for this. It’s a bitch. You just have to push through and battle your demons. Literally everyone I know struggles with this, so in a sense, I guess my only tip is…get used to it. Make things anyway.