I'll be honest for a moment here (don't you hate when people say that? What does that mean, that I haven't been honest up until now?), I was in a little bit of a creative funk to start the new year. I've been bogged down with distractions, working projects that don't elevate my career, and worst of all, procrastination. Dun dun dun.
I was having trouble pinpointing exactly why I felt so hopelessly unproductive. And I finally found the answer:
I've been letting negativity, doubt and fear weigh me down like an anchor. This is probably not a shock to any creative out there. I've never met someone that aspires to do great work, that hasn't had these thoughts at some point.
But if we're going to be talking specifics here, in my case I am referring almost exclusively to the internet and social media.
A little over a year ago, I got off social media entirely for a period of about 4-5 months. I deleted my Facebook, stopped checking Instagram every hour, wasn't scrolling aimlessly through twitter, and even stopped checking email every day. Guess what happened? It was one of the best 4-5 months of my life. I wrote a book. Yes, I WROTE a book.
I never released it because it was a terrible book, and wouldn't sell a single copy outside of my mother. But the point is, is that I wrote it. I was writing something crazy like 5,000-10,000 words a day. All because I wasn't checking my phone or internet every 30 minutes.
You know that scene in X-men where Professor Xavier can hear the thoughts of everyone in the whole world through that mindfuckery of a computer he has on his head? Yeah, turning off social media was like taking off that helmet.
You know how bad it is? I even have Snapchat. Yes, I am 35 fucking years old (give or take a few) and I have Snapchat. But now, I started shutting out the online world, and amazingly, I'm back to producing great work (or at least, work that I'm proud of). I'm supposed to be working, not getting trapped arguing with people I don't know about whether Kanye West is an egomaniac or Taylor is a spoiled brat. Not going down rabbit holes of kids in the suburbs doing their best whip and nae nae. Not finding out what Manny Pacquiao means by "gays are worse than animals". It's all entertaining, but if it's not doing anything for my life, I just let it pass.
So my message here is to truly unlock your creative potential, you may need to literally disconnect yourself. I will not hesitate to put my phone in airplane mode, or disconnect the wifi from my computer to get things done.
That, and if you're older than 35 years old, you (we) should probably not have a Snapchat account.