Whatever we are putting of creating, whether, it’s a blog post, recording a podcast, working on book, writing a piece of software or whatever art we are making. We encounter resistance and we must overcome if we are to make our art happen. Steven Pressfield addresses this topic in his recent and simply must ready book “The War of Art”
Earlier this year, I made a commitment to myself to publish at least 1 blog post each week. And last week I published ZERO. Yes the resistance won over me last week.
Yes it was a busier than usual week, I had family come in to stay with us for a large part of the week, I was sick and so was my daughter. I had so many excuses not to spend a couple of hours writing & creating the blog post.
Looking back at what happened I find that my resistance to creativity usually shows up as follows:
- Checking email like a monkey on dope. Or a thought passes my mind reminding me of a email I wanted to respond to.
- Checking my social networks: May be some posted a update that I need to check and respond to right now!
- Tweaking the look and feel of my website. Oh that one tiny thing I always wanted to do to make it feel perfect.
- Jumping from one task to other without getting anything to completion.
And the list goes on and on. Ton of things appear to get in the way and distract us from getting to the real deal, the act of creating our art. Now, how do we overcome the resistance.
A great way I found that works, to battle resistance and get into the act of creativity is to put systems in place to enable us to do that. Here are 5 systems that I have put in place:
- Habit : We are creatures of habit. Get into the habit of creating. It’s easier to over come resistance. I have heard a lot of author get up early in the morning and write. Some, do it every day before going to bed. They key is to get in to a habit that we can sustain.
- Schedule: Create a schedule for your creative endeavors. When I initially started a blog I used to write when I had the inspiration to write a post. I found that I used to write probably just a few times a year. Now, I’ve decide to post 1-2 times a week. This helps me push myself to create and publish no matter what. Just create s schedule that works for you and get into the habit of sticking with it.
- Creative Triggers: These are triggers that get your creative juices flowing. For some it’s coffee and a clean table, for others it listening to a particular type of music. I recently heard that expert copyrighter Ray Edwards has to keep on his earphone running no music before he gets into his writing zone. Whatever it is, try to identify what pre-creative routines help you get into your creative zone.
- Dive-in first: Another thing I find extremely useful is to simply dive into the act of creativity first and then figure out how to swim. The only way to overcome inertia that I know of is to start to move. So, just get your creative process started and then figure out where to go after you start.
- Stick with MIP tasks: In my case, I find that I tend to jump from one task to another without getting much done. They way I have learned to overcome this is to stick with 3-4 MIP tasks for any day that I need to accomplish and religiously stick with it. Note: They are ‘important’ tasks not simply ‘urgent’ tasks (Seth Godin has a nice trease on this if you are interested). . And ensure that your MIP has this in the day’s list.
Resistance shows up in new ways every time. Having a few dependable systems in place will make our likely hood of overcoming it way better.
How does resistance prevent you from making your art? What strategies and systems do you have in place that work for you?