Like most other creatives, I struggle with self-sabotage, self-doubt, and feeling like an imposter more often than not. I struggle with expressing myself, because it does sometimes feel easier or safer not to. —Jeff Jarvis
Recently, I was speaking with a friend of mine who mentioned that she was working on investigating the ways in which she sabotages herself artistically. The moment the words were out of her mouth, I realized that I needed to work on the same thing.
I’m a terrible procrastinator.
I often fritter away a chunk of my time on social media or reading the news, activities that usually leave me feeling emotionally unsettled and agitated—not the best state of mind for making progress in my writing. The worst part is that I don’t particularly enjoy these habits. I just do them to avoid having to dive into my work.
This is, of course, just fear—fear of falling short, fear of having to face the difficulty that writing poses. I remember a quote by Sir Joshua Reynolds that used to hang in the kitchen of a childhood friend, “There is no expedient to which man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.” Apparently, Thomas Edison also had that quote on his wall. It’s reassuring to think that even Edison struggled to force himself to get to work.
That’s the rub: resistance is a struggle for almost everyone.
It’s important to remember that, and to remember that the’s nothing special about your procrastination. It’s just garden-variety creative person self-doubt stuff. You don’t need to worry about it, and you don’t need to fall victim to it, either. The key is to try to notice when you’re doing it, and then redirect your mind back to your work.
Every day, we return again to the page. This is our own mindfulness practice, in which we focus on what we want to convey, and engage with our thoughts until we have expressed them.
Distractions will not get us where we want to go.