Hello SE Readers! Or should I say hello creatives? That’s right; whether you’re an artist, a musician, or a writer, you are creative. You create pictures, music, words. And really, a writer paints pictures with his or her words.
But there are a number of things that can hinder our creativity. Time. Distractions. Technology problems. Some are valid reasons, while others are excuses to procrastinate. Believe me, when I say I’m the queen of procrastination. I’ve listed a few of my past and present hindrances. Some I have overcome, others I’m still working on.
- The need for perfection. Many of us feel we should get our work right the first time. We want that first draft to be perfect. Guess what? They’re not. The key to good writing is rewriting.
- Fear. “What if no one likes my writing? What if no one reads it? What if…” We can add a number of things to this list but remember most “what ifs” never transpire.
- Self-doubt. This used to be a big one for me. “I’m not good enough.” “I can’t do this.” “I’ll never…”
- Social media. Whether self-published or traditionally published, an author must have a social media presence. But spending too much time on social media sites can lead to decreased productivity.
- Technology. It’s great when it works. When it doesn’t… Well, let’s just say that I’ve spent more than my fair share of time dealing with slow computers, software and apps that don’t always work, and internet issues.
- Stress. This is a big one. We all have lives outside of writing. Some of us also hold full-time jobs. Others might have family members who are going through a rough time. We may have health issues. The list is endless.
What can we do to combat these situations?
- Realize we aren’t perfect. First, second, and third drafts aren’t without error. And no matter how many rewrites and edits a story has been through, we can always find room for improvement. Strive to put forth the best work you can and realize that there comes a time to let it go.
- Not everyone will like your writing. But don’t let that stop you. Publish that novel. Submit that short story to a magazine. It may take a while to find your target audience, but once you do, you’ll start to build a loyal fanbase.
- My mother used to say, “Can’t never did anything.” She was right. One of my favorite quotes is by Vincent van Gogh. “If you hear a voice inside you that says, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” When you feel self-doubt, just write. Soon those voices will become silent.
- Determine to spend less time on social media. If it’s too much of a distraction, invest in an internet blocking software.
- Realize your limitations with technology. If it’s something you can’t fix, get professional help. Sometimes all we need to do is walk away for a while. We can always rely on pen and paper to get a few words written.
- In today’s world, stress is inevitable. There are many things in life for which we have no control. Take a few minutes each day to meditate, listen to music, take a nature walk, do some yoga, or whatever method helps you to relax.
Realizing our greatest hindrances is the first key to overcoming them. What hinders your creativity and intrudes on your writing time? What steps have you done to overcome those things?