If you’re like me, it’s the creative practice. Creating art in some form.
We’ve all had those days where we stall. We lack motivation because we’re exhausted, deadline stressed, or burnt from routine.
This malaise comes in a variety of forms, but the result is the same – our creativity suffers.
A gloom soaked dagger, piercing your creative heart.
I call this the Creative Succubus.
And guess what? If you’re writing on the old web log, you are a creative soul fighting the daily war of art.
We all fight the beast …
The blogging accountant, busting a hump to find customers online.
The aspiring writer, artfully promoting her latest book.
A budding entrepreneur writing like a savage to sell his amazing new product.
And in that war we face the soul-draining Succubus.
She’s ugly, mean and unrelenting. And sometimes there really is an art to fighting this battle.
Beating the suck the creative energy right out of you feeling.
So, how do you take charge of your day and tell this energy vampire to piss off?
1. Embrace the timer.
Enter the stopwatch. It comes in many forms, but it’s simple, easy to implement, and effective.
Online stopwatch, egg timer, the clock on your smart phone. It doesn’t matter, because they’ll all make you a better writer.
First thing every morning I set my timer for one hour and write.
Some days are great, others, not so stellar. But if you put in the time, you’ll find your groove. The days where writing flows will mix with days of struggle … but in the end they add up to you becoming prolific at your art.
And a habit of soldiering on each day, no matter what, is the best way to wage this war.
2. Write before you do anything else.
Take on your most creative tasks when you have creative energy. For me, this is the morning. So before I read emails, go on Twitter or look at my ugly project list, I write.
Some days it’s directly from my editorial calendar; some, repurposing a post; others, simply sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind. There really is no trick to it, it’s just good old fashioned, nose the the grindstone work.
But do not let other stuff get in the way. If your editorial calendar is not calling you, sit down in front of your screen and start typing … you might be smitten with the results of this fun habit.
This cumulative effort will help you win the war.
Like anything else, writing can become a time suck, so learn to stop.
Why? Unless you make a living writing, you have other things to do. And if you’re like me, writing isn’t paying the bills.
But more importantly … when you stop at your daily apex, just when you’re feeling it, you’ll come back with renewed vigor the next day. It sounds counterintuitive but learning to stop is one sound strategy when trying to kill the Succubus.
When I’m struggling, I love it when I hear those chirping crickets on my iPhone, reminding me it’s time to stop pounding the keyboard.
When it’s flowing like Niagara, the chirping kind of chills my buzz, but I realize it’s all good in the end.
But creativity in the form of writing has power. And a consistent writing habit will get you places.
Think about it …
As you write, you learn; more about your business, the details of your craft, how to sell, how to produce, how to market online, etc.
You’re artfully learning. And as you go, you are building the creative muscles necessary to crush the beast.
This is the way. Sitting down and doing, every day. It won’t be art every day. BUT if you push forth without fail, you start building a foundation that might just change your life or dramatically grow your business.
I don’t care if your selling Flemish harps or consulting services, if you’re marketing yourself online, you are indeed producing art in the form of words.
So get busy writing, K?