What Are You Waiting For?

Woman waiting by doors

photo by Brian Donovan via flickr licensed by CC 2.0

Some writers and other creative types tend to procrastinate a lot. Yeah, don’t look at me like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not the only one who does it.

My friend Julie recently challenged me to come up with two lists: one with unproductive procrastination activities, and the other with productive procrastination activities. We decided ‘productive’ in this context means that when you are done with the activity, whatever it is, you don’t feel bad about yourself. Well, you still feel a little bit bad because you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, but not as bad as if you did one of the unproductive procrastination activities. Continue reading

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Sign Me Up

Writing

photo by Rubin Starset via flickr, licensed by cc 2.0

I noticed a funny thing about myself the other day. I hadn’t been keeping up with my tai chi practice (long story) and I thought maybe I should go back to class. I tried to do the form on my own, and I found that I had forgotten a lot. So I got out the book* and tried to figure out the missing steps from the pictures. I decided I had to do this because I couldn’t go to class without re-learning the form. The teacher or other students might see me making mistakes!

You may be laughing at this point. I am laughing at myself too. I can’t go back to class until I perfect my form– which is what class is for. Continue reading

The War of Art – A Review

“Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.”

– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

photo by   via Flickr cc

photo by See-ming Lee via flickr cc

I’ve read a lot of books about creativity, making art, and becoming a better writer. In many of these books, there are one or two great ideas, and then some ideas that I find are not useful, or not original, or both.

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All You Need is a First Line

Sometimes the hardest thing about a poem/essay/story/novel is writing the beginning. Putting the words down on the page is like standing up in front of a room full of people and saying, “Listen up!” It’s a big moment. What if they don’t listen? What if they do, and they don’t like what they heard? What if your work is boring? Really, there’s no end to the ways you can screw up. Continue reading