A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Boom, you’re inspired lets fucking do this.
Firstly, I’m going to start by saying: I’m a wreck this week. I’m experiencing a cold for the first time in over a year and my personal life is not in a good shape. I say this because I feel like absolute shit but I’m doing this because I said I would release regular content and I’m not letting the bad shit keep me from doing what I believe in and neither should you.
YOU CAN ALWAYS DO SOMETHING: EVEN IF THE WORLD FEELS LIKE IT’S AGAINST YOU.
You can’t control what you’ve done in the past, you can’t control what you’ll do tomorrow – All you can control is WHAT YOU DO RIGHT NOW.
But I digress, let’s press on.
The Scariest Moment is always just before you start
So, I have this dream of being a musician – have had it since I was a little kid. This dream barely gets realized because other stuff happens. Work, life, Mad Arab, Inspirational blog posts* you get the idea.
I’ve found when I finally sit down and try to start working on music I clam up, get distracted or something else takes my focus. We all know this monster: Procrastination.
But what is procrastination. In a nutshell it’s fear
Fear that my song will be shit. Fear that my muso friends will think it’s shit. Fear that I’ll get stuck half way through and have to abandon another half born child to the folder named ‘WIPs’ because my technical skills and limited knowledge hold me back.
This fear results in failing before I’ve even plugged in my guitar and another day is lost to stupid insecurity and groundless fears.
I’ve found the most powerful tool to combat this anxiety is to say
“even if it’s shit, at least I did it”
Before most of us start any task we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We aim to build the Eiffel tower before we’ve even built a coffee table.
I’ll let you in on a secret: no one cares what you’re doing because they’re too busy caught up in their own shit – and if anyone shit talks you, it’s usually because they’re mad at themselves for not having done exactly what you’re trying to do. It’s better to have created something and put it out than not even getting started. Even if it’s rubbish, it doesn’t matter people will either love it or click on the next cat video. It’s important to make it and put it out. Why? Because it makes putting out the next thing EVEN EASIER and the next thing might just be the Sistine Chapel or whatever.
So what I’m trying to say is: Aim for Completion not perfection.
You can always go back and fix it later if you’re not happy with it. Or just start something else taking lessons from the last thing you created. However, you can’t do this if you never started to begin with. This idea is also good for stopping yourself before you over think and over process something to the point that it’s truly a piece of rubbish in your eyes because you’re sick of working on it.
If Aiming for Completion not perfection is still too hard for you then try my favourite technique for getting an essay written:
INTENTIONALLY CREATE THE SHITTEST THING YOU CAN!
I remember once having to write an essay on owl feeding habits for uni and I had wicked bad writers block.
So I started with this:
“Owls are birds, they have big fuck off eyes which help them be noctournal and shit(Wikipedia, 2011). They have big talons and can fly and Harry Potter owns one, it’s called Hedwig (Rowling, 1997).”
After I got the initial anxiety of getting started out of the way by purging the stupidity out of my system I got to writing a pretty sweet paper that got me an A-
Obviously I removed the initial sentence once it fulfilled its purpose but I enjoyed writing the rest of the paper BECAUSE I could approach it without the pretension, without the anxiety and without the fear of doing a shit job.
So in light of all this, I’m going to upload this tonight and proof read it tomorrow ( a major cop out for producing shitty work, but you just read an article on the importance of producing work – no matter how shitty).
Fingers crossed I’ll be feeling better next time, because the next topic is important and I want to nail it. If you like what you heard today I’ll recommend the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.
*so I guess this too could be perceived as a form of procrastination but hey, if this helps you then I’ve done a good thing.