You ever have one of those days that are so crappy, that you don't even feel putting your shoes on, let alone doing something that requires actual creativity, such as writing?
Of course, we alI have. I'm having one today. I'm not going to admit what time I rolled out of bed this morning, because there are potential clients out there reading this and I don't want to give off the impression that I'm a slacker (for that, just check my Instagram feed).
But here I am anyway, writing.
If you're a habitual procrastinator like me, have no fear. I have a secret formula that has worked since the dawn of time. An ancient process that gave us the wheel. The pyramids. Donald Trump's hair.
The magic formula is something that I like to call: Just sit the fuck down and do it.
Let me explain.
I was never a guy who was in the best of shape. Sure, I appeared "normal", but buried inside my hoodies and baggy jeans, I was always a guy who was just kinda flabby. About 3-4 years ago, I somehow got into crossfit. I suppose it was because it was the thing to do at the time, and if there's one thing I liked more than Reese's Peanut Butter cups, it's things that have hype. So I signed up, and about 2 weeks into what I imagine actual hell would be like, my brain started telling me the same thing it said when I got into season 4 of the Walking Dead:
This isn't for me.
But somehow I kept going. After 6 months, people started noticing a difference in my physique. I wish I could say it was my muscles, but it was actually my face. Turns out I had a jawline. Who knew?
And then a year I was in full douchebaggery mode, taking selfies in the mirror and posting them on Instagram.
And the trick was sticking to it.
I stuck to it by making a rule for myself. Most days I don't feel like going to the gym. I hate it. I don't feel like laying on the floor feeling like the devil is doing the nae-nae in my lungs. But here's the rule: If I put on my black nike shoes before 6pm, I'm going to the gym. I don't take them off, I don't go to a movie, I don't sit in the parking lot for an hour stuffing my face full of Chicken McNuggets (I use other shoes for that). If I put those shoes on, I'm getting my ass kicked. At the gym.
And surprisingly, I do that about 3-4 times a week.
So I apply the same rule to summon my creativity. I can open my laptop, check my email, surf Twitter, watch cat video's, whatever....but if I open Word, Scrivener, or this blog, guess what? I'm sitting my ass down in my chair, and I am writing. I don't care how bad my writing gets, I will sit myself down and do it for the time I allot myself, which for consistencies' sake, is 1 hour.
I will keep doing that as the day goes on. I treat my creative work like I do going to the gym. Once I slip on those shoes, I'm going to work. No excuses.
And you know what? Just like the gym, you always feel better after you do it. You feel like crap going in, and feel fresh going out. It's like the antithesis of the digestive system.
This is just my rule, and your rule might be different. But the point is, and I think most creatives will agree, you do need some sort of rule. Otherwise, on your down days you'll say the same thing to yourself that I say to my mom when she asks if I filed my taxes yet:
"I'll do it when I feel like it".