Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Land of Procrastination

(a little corner of my newest painting...which is being created during small chunks of time)

Hello dear souls,

I hope September finds you well.  I am writing this blog post as monsoonal rains lash the window and the trees opposite the house sway dangerously in a tornado style wind; it feels as if Autumn has arrived early in these parts!

So anyway, I wanted to write a wee post to follow on from the one I wrote about the Creativity Hiatus.  I felt it might be useful to those of you who find that your Hiatus has turned into Procrastination and Stuck and if you're wondering how the heck to get past that part.

It's happened to me alot - I'm actually a fantastic procrastinator!  I've been through the Hiatus part where nothing happens and then I start to feel glimmers of inspiration returning.  I've felt the excitement as new ideas manifest and new opportunities present themselves, and I've also felt the hesitation as I do nothing about them and find a million and one different reasons to avoid starting.  Here are a few I use, you may recognise them:

I'm too busy
I have household chores to take care of
I have to go shopping
This cupboard looks interesting, lets empty it!
Ooh, I've been on Facebook for three days!
I'm too tired...

This is the part when the Hiatus has transformed into Procrastination - and you need to watch out for it.  We can get seriously stuck here, because the Land of Procrastination is a nice place to be.  We get to dream our dreams, languish with the nice feelings those ideas bring us, and we get to wander around imagining how it will all turn out...and we don't lift a finger to do anything beyond that, because that's when it becomes real.

And that is what scares us.

When you've had an absence from creating, it can be pretty scary to start again and it can also be tough to rouse yourself out of the feelings of inertia.  I'm going to give you a couple of ideas on how to move through the Stuck and get going again - and these ideas work because I still use them myself.

  • Choose to take a Small Step:  For example - get your pens and a sketch book out, and lay them on the table for a day or so.  You don't have to physically start drawing right away if you don't want to (the idea is to keep these Small Steps very minimal).  The energy that will arise from the motion of actually getting your stuff out is momentous and not to be underestimated.
  • Take Five Minutes:  Literally, yes. It's enough to begin with although you may find (as I do) that five minutes can elapse into an hour or so without you being aware of it.  Next time you pass your creative pile on the table, and you feel moved to do something, do it.
  • Do Something Different:  To get the creative energy moving, you might want to try something a little different.  I sometimes make cakes or do a bit of gardening to get myself into a creative frame of mind.  This is a great energy shifter.  You may notice that it fuels you up to get started on what it is you've been putting off doing.  I recently made bead bracelets with my daughter, and then that same day had a cracking design idea for a Christmas Card which I hurriedly drew in my sketch book (conveniently laying on the table just in case).
I hope these little ideas help - I'll be sharing more ways of dealing with Procrastination and moving through Stuck in my new E-Book which is nearly completed and which I'm really excited about sharing with you!  Meanwhile, you can also check the resources out in the side bar where there is a list of Inspiring Posts that may be useful to you.

Wishing you a bright and delight~filled weekend, thanks as always for dropping in to see me!

Much love, Julia x

19 comments:

  1. Dear Julia,
    very helpful post! Love ypour painting! The colours of these small boats and the blue of the water!
    Greetings by heart!
    Dania

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  2. Oh I understand this post so well! Sometimes I think that is maybe why I don't stop. I fear that If I do, I may NEVER get back into the swing of it, and that terrifies me!

    I love your helpful steps!

    We had had a break today from the lashing rain and blustery wind!

    much love

    Vanessa xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  3. Hi Julia!!! So nice to see you back!!!! I love the boats by the way! Lovely colours and style! My way of dealing with procrastination is never to stop.... I am awful! If I fall out of a very busy schedule of working, household, sports and drawing every day - I get lost.... If I stop - I am waisted.... I loose it completely.... So I just don't stop :)))

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  4. If it is all so difficult, then why would someone feel compelled to push themselves to do something that reviles them? I think it is natural to feel creative (we are all creative) at times and yet not at others. There is no need to make a drama out of it - for most of us at least. If it is your job then that is different and I am sure that is hard at times. What's the big deal for the rest of us though? If we want to make a pillowcase we will, otherwise we can always buy one. There is no reason at all that we 'should' do any thing. If it really isn't enjoyable and the whole process actually causes stress then perhaps it is best not to bother. There is no one holding a gun to our heads, shouting 'create, create'. When we do too much we suffer burn out.

    With creativity, which is not a constantly renewable force - it ebbs and flows in most of us, it is inevitable that if we keep making ourselves try to be and do what we currently have no feeling for, we will end up frustrated and exhausted. Are there creativity police out there? So what if you make 1 scarf all year. If it is all so hard, have a break and a sit down. If making stuff is so awful, taxing and hard work then maybe we just aren't the 'creative type' that perhaps we like to think we are (something we often create an image of for ourselves, which has to fit highly pressurised concepts, and then aspire towards it, while perceiving our own failure). You don't have to do it. We don't have to do anything!

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  5. Hi Julia. good post particularly as I have procrastinated so well for most of today. Did finally get the orders done though so feel a tad smug now! x

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  6. I see anonymous has no problems with creating when it comes to creating criticism....


    great post Julia, and I am loving the snippets of the new painting x

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  7. Dear Julia, I love your painting! It inspires me to make a patchwork!
    Have a lovely time!
    xxx Teje

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  8. I can relate so much to this post !

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  9. Good crafting tips there Julia. The best thing I did was to join MarmaladeRose and her 20 minuters. (link on my blog.) It got me into the habit of crafting for at least 20 minutes a day and I have never looked back!! x Jo

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  10. Its true that the internet is a great stealer of time!!! My lad is in Newquay and I think its far worse than up here!! xxxx

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  11. Great advice - thanks Julia :-)

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  12. Yes, good advice - thank you. And I love the little detail of painting.

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  13. "Prevaricating around the bush" (Wallace and Grommit) is unfortunately what I do best! I will have to follow your steps....tomorrow!! LOL! Cx

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  14. Hi Julia
    You are so right when you haven't been busy with your crafting it is so difficult to get started again. I even have some orders and getting me motivated at the moment is so difficult, I will try the getting everything ready idea - I think it might help.
    love Jillx

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  15. Some very good tips Julia, especially the one about leaving out a sketchbook and pen. When I am feeling creative I then have to go hunting for materials and then lose the urge to create!!! x

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  16. thank you, THANK YOU....I am a native of Procrastination land as well, it's nice to know I am not alone....and now, it's time to begin, not always an easy step.

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  18. What a beautiful painting!!! I love the way you use color! and those little boats are sooo sweet!

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