“I don’t feel like writing today…”, says my brain. “You don’t have anything to say anyway.”, it mutters.
But that’s nothing new. I’ve had ups and downs in my creative life, all with my inner critic muttering at me. Working really hard to keep my work out of sight and unmade.
Mostly I ignore that voice, because I’ve come to learn that it is completely untrue. Actually, my best work resides on the other side of resistance.
When the voice of my ego mutters that I have nothing to say, that is always where my writing is the best.
It’s actually become predictable. And I regularly use the feel of nerves or contrived boredom as a sign that I’m onto something good.
Waiting until like I feel like it, waiting for inspiration, has never worked for me. Instead, I wholeheartedly believe that you get the great ideas while you are making, not before.
Be willing to spill a little ink onto the page and see where it will go first.
You have to have your pen in your hand before the ideas will flow.
I hope to convince you to commit to your creative work. Once you decide to make it a habit, to write or draw or post regularly, amazing things happen.
This is a hot topic for you if you write, create, or produce work that requires a bit of bravery and vulnerability.
Here’s what I learned from the process of sneaking past my inner critic to write a Master Thesis, a non-fiction book (The Secret Art of Happiness), two planner journals, countless blogs on LunaHolistic.com, and email after email to my clients and students.
Ignore your brain
Seriously, decide to ignore the voice that yammers at you ‘never enough’.
The ‘never enough: mantra of your inner critic is stifling you. It’s unnecessary and likely 100% wrong.
Make a decision to ignore the naysayer between your ears and commit to creating the work anyway.
So what if it’s bad? So what. It doesn’t matter. If it’s made, then you can refine it later. The most important thing is to get the work out of you and into the world.
Let go of ‘perfect’
Truly, it’s progress over perfection. It just has to get done and in the world.
It’s so important to make the thing. Just make it. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just has to get done.
Remember that perfection is an illusion. It’s often another way for the inner critic to derail the work getting done.
Make a commitment
Decide how often you will do your creative work. Every day? Every Thursday? Once a month?
It really doesn’t matter what the frequency is, but do make sure it either lands in your calendar or becomes part of your daily routine.
The more times you start, the more times you’ll finish.
Put your critics outside
Imagine any critical people or thoughts you might have are outside your bubble.
Set it all outside, put it aside so your work can just get made.
Sometimes just a simple visualization of moving the critic out of your energy field is enough to settle the mind so you can focus.
Let go of the outcome
Maybe people will like it, maybe they won’t. Maybe it will be wildly successful, maybe it won’t.
Put less pressure on the work ahead so it can just get made.
Ultimately, it’s not about you, it about the work. By taking the result less personally, it can free you up to make more stuff.
Surrender and get out of the way.
Productivity is natural
A big part of my productivity is because I manage my energy.
I think energy management is way more important than time management. If you have the energy, then it can happen. If you have all the time but no energy then it all grinds to a halt.
By managing your inner critic with love, it frees you up to have more energy for your important work.