I’ll tell myself all kinds of things to keep myself from writing. It’s weird, because I want to write. But when it comes time to put the proverbial pen to paper… to put the rubber to the road… to put the mustard on the hot dog… to milk the cow… to whatever… I tell myself whatever I can that will stop me from writing. There’s one reason why I do this–why all creators keep themselves from creating. So we need to acknowledge that.
Good news: I can do something about that reason. But first, I have to expose why the excuses I make to myself are, in fact, lies…
6) This is rubbish.
The truth: Whatever I create is still better than nothing. I’ve discovered I can’t create something good by creating nothing at all. So I gots to do it anyways… If it sucks, it’s practice. If it’s OK, then it’s something to revisit. If it’s great… well, I’ll figure that out when I create something great.
I’m not actually cheating my audience by creating. The “rubbish” lie can come wrapped in the idea that I need to wait until I have my absolute best stuff together before I present it to the world. That’s just not true. I don’t want to produce garbage, but I’m not helping anyone, I’m not using my gifts, nor am I sharing any love when I refuse to create for fear of producing poorly. Really, I’ll probably always feel under qualified and underwhelmed. So I’ll give my best today… whatever that looks like.
In the end, our creations are like pizza–even bad pizza is still pretty good.
5) Nobody cares.
I don’t have 10,000 Twitter followers. This blog is not heavily trafficked. There’s some truth in admitting that there are a lot of people who don’t care about what I create. BUT, who am I really doing this for?
Nobody cares whether or not I create more than I do. And my personal audience of three (me, myself, and I) is really the audience I need to initially satisfy. Love that audience first, and it will be easier to love the Twitter followers later.
Bottom line: you care, so create something for you today.
4) I don’t have the time.
Not buying it. I have time for hockey games, crosswords, and YouTube rabbit holes. Truth is, I’m great at convincing myself I don’t have time by filling up my time with less gratifying activities. Creating is work and that’s why I make excuses not to do it. But, like a good workout, it’s way more fulfilling than tracking down live footage of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band on YouTube.
A practice I’m working on mastering is quitting. For example, lately I’ve quit TV. I’m not saying I’ll never watch TV again. I’ve simply quit turning on the TV on my own for the time being. Guess what I found: some time. The idea is to give up one thing that just isn’t fruitful. Which I’ll do… right after I re-watch that YouTube of Manfred Mann tearing up Rockpalast back in 1977.
Bottom line: I do have the time, I’ve just been choosing to use it in other ways.
3) I don’t feel inspired today.
Inspiration doesn’t come easy. It rarely comes when I’m waiting for it. Mostly, it comes in flashes while engaged in other activities or when I simply fake it.
Yes, inspiration can be faked. John Wesley, a famous preacher from the 1700’s, asked a mentor how he was supposed to preach when he didn’t feel full of faith. The mentor said: “Preach faith until you have it. Then, because you have it, you will preach faith.” “Inspiration” can be substituted into that statement.
Practice inspiration until you have it. Then, because you have it, you will practice it.
2) Later will be better.
It won’t. Later will likely have the same issues as the present–the doubt, questioning, and lack of clarity. Now is the best time to create something. Always.
1) I’m afraid.
This is actually the reason I will not write. This is not a lie. I won’t be a creator because I’m afraid to turn the lens on myself. I’m afraid to put myself out there.
I can do something about this though: I can write anyway. True bravery is not the absence of fear, bravery is moving forward despite fear. To choose to be a creator does not mean I won’t be afraid of the task before me. Choosing to be a creator means I will create despite my fear.