I bet that title got your attention. Next time I should consider attaching such an intriguing title to something actually worth reading.
I don’t like this post.
I am starting with that statement. I don’t like that I am writing it. Unfortunately, I committed myself to publishing something tonight – after two weeks of silence – and this is the only thing I can force out of myself at the moment.
I have been struggling with the worst writer’s block for the past two weeks. Actually, the problem isn’t the writing so much as the completing and publishing. I have succeeding in writing and rewriting and then trashing several posts over the past couple weeks. The trouble is with the framing. You, dear reader, don’t just want information. You don’t just want rambling opinions. You don’t just want perspectives. You want all of the above wrapped up in a neat little package that makes the whole thing seem compelling. The neat little package is the difficult part. Or at least that is what keeps repeating in my head, paralyzing my refinement muscles.
I don’t lack for ideas. In fact, I have far too many ideas at the moment. All of them potentially worthwhile but none of them coalescing into anything contextually compelling. I know the longer I allow myself to procrastinate the more ingrained the avoidance will become…so this is me breaking the cycle. Feel free to stop reading now…though I may manage to squeeze out a few insightful gems, now that I have disclaimed all responsibility for wasting your time.
So hear is a question: What counts as procrastination?
The answer is not as obvious as it seems. Of course some things are obvious and unequivocal; I actually cancelled my Netflix account a few weeks back (completely unrelated to the whole Qwikster fiasco). However, many activities occupy a grey area. Most of my writing develops out of social media activity in one way or another, either consuming or conversing. That leads me to question #2:
How do you know when your forum of choice has ceased to act as a source of inspiration and become a distraction?
Anyone who has ever attempted something creative knows that you can’t force it. Beyond a certain point, the harder you try the more your vision narrows. Sure, I could rehash something I’ve written previously, expand on it somewhat, apply it to some new situation. I have several of those sitting in the hopper. Unfortunately, they all seem to be missing something. Time for question #3:
How you know when to trust your intuition, or ‘muse’ if you prefer that term?
Many bloggers today advise their comrades to just hit ‘publish’. But I’m sure you know when something sucks. More importantly, you know when something is missing, when there is a critical piece of the puzzle just outside your conscious awareness, waiting to be grasped. I commonly read bloggers who claim that they are perpetually surprised by which of their posts do well. I have found exactly the opposite. The posts here that have attracted the most notice have been the ones I was most excited about beforehand.
So this is me trusting my muse. The voices in my head are telling me that this is what I should be publishing today. All the half-baked nonsense I have created over the past two weeks will continue awaiting further reformulation.
If you have read this far, please lend me your comments. What is your creativity hack of choice?