Archive for May 6, 2017


One of the creative lies a lot of people believe is that they’re just not disciplined enough to do what they need to do. I don’t believe this is correct. Oh I have no doubt they may struggle to get things done, but I doubt it’s because they lack discipline. They have discipline. I bet they meet deadlines at work. I bet they pay their bills on time. I bet the things that are genuinely important to them get done on time. It’s not really a matter of discipline, but rather one of priority. If you’re one of these people, I’m not trying to beat you up here. I thoroughly understand how life happens and how sometimes our creative projects get forced to the back burner. If that’s you, this is not a beating. My purpose in writing this is to eliminate false creative beliefs and lack of discipline is often if not usually one of those.

So let’s start there. If you’re not blessed to make your living from your creativity, there will be times when the necessities of life squeeze out your time to create. This is probably not a lack of discipline. You’re doing what must be done and your creation can’t be priority one right now. It’s okay. Just try to find some time and work it in as often as you can. Break the project down into small, but meaningful steps and chip away at it until its done. Yes this may make for a long drawn out creative process, but claim the small victories in each step being completed and enjoy the journey. That in itself is discipline. I feel the need to do a little aside here. Remember, you need to rest, your creativity and your health will suffer if you don’t. Also remember family time matters. Don’t push the people you love to the back burner to reach your goals. After all, it’s supposed to be them, at least in part, that you’re doing this for.

But let’s suppose that’s not the case, you have the time, you just don’t feel like doing it. I have a couple of questions you need to answer:

1. Why don’t you want to accomplish this goal?
At the end of the day we do what we want to do. So if you’re not finishing it, maybe it’s not your dream or your goal. If this is the case, it may be time to reassess your priorities and passions and lay it aside in favor of something you’ll want to actually finish. Now if you’re saying, “…but I do want to finish my project I do want to accomplish this goal.” then we’ll need to look at the remaining questions.
2. Have you lost passion for it?
Maybe this project really fired your imagination in the beginning, but as time has worn on, you just aren’t into it anymore. Maybe conditions have changed. Maybe you got so far and realized it will never work. Whatever the reason, maybe it’s time to can the project and move on. I can’t answer this for you, but I will say this. If this is a pattern for you, finish that project before moving on.
3. Is it more difficult than you thought?
In our society, people seem to be drawn to things that are easy and things that become difficult are often easy to ditch. Let me try to discourage you from ditching. If it was easy everyone would create what you’re creating. The ones who stick with it and finish are the ones who generally succeed. The rest kick themselves when someone else succeeds at what they gave up. Don’t give up. Enlist help, collaborate, find a few people who believe in your dream and get them to help you.
4. Are you stuck?
Sometimes even the best creatives get stuck. They take the project as far as they can and there comes a point where they can’t move it any further. They’re stuck. If you get to this point, there are ways around it. As mentioned earlier, if this is a creative block, start another project. This is different from giving up in that, this project is what you work on when you get stuck on your primary project. The reason for this is really simple. We often get stuck because we’ve been on something too long. So long that we can’t see our way around the problems anymore. Jumping to a second project when this happens will allow you to think on something else for a while which will generally serve to unblock your mind.
I have a lot more to say on this… tune in tomorrow.

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