Why do we subject ourselves to so many unwritten rules as creators and writers?
One of these unwritten rules I decided to ditch was: If I didn't write it last week I MUST write it this week.
I mean why?
I have a feeling it comes down to some kind of psychological behaviour in us to have to tick things off a list to get it to zero.
Or maybe we're just trained in school to "FINISH WHAT WE START GRRR"
But here's the thing... we're adults now and no one is standing over you demanding that you finish that idea and publish it.
In fact, keeping these ideas on our list week after week might actually be hurting your creativity & consistency.
So I have only one rule when it comes to the ideas I work on as a creator and that is:
DOES THIS SPARK ME?
Full stop. If something doesn't get my attention and I don't feel the spark - I don't work on it in that moment.
At first, this might sound like a cop-out or a very elaborate procrastination trick until you see the amount of content I produce every day.
And it all comes down to this:
Trust yourself. Trust your attention. Trust your creative spirit.
It sounds counter-intuitive and CRAZY. But we've been taught not to trust ourselves as creators. To just follow the plan, put it in the calendar, put our head down and write even if it's hard, push through... blah, blah, blah, blah.
But why shouldn't you work on things that you are insanely passionate about every day? Don't you think that would INCREASE your creativity? Doesn't that sound like the kind of creative life you want to be a part of?
OK. So if you're in for this kind of juicy creator life, let's talk about how to actually make this work in practice so you can start working on the things that totally inspire you each day.
At the start of every week look through all your ideas and choose a few to shortlist.
Your only rule (or filter for choosing) is: Am I insanely excited to work on this?
If the answer is yes - move it into your shortlist. If not, keep it in your idea bank.
I usually end up with about 7-10 ideas that I want to work on that are in varying stages of production. Some have a brain dump, others have an outline, and others are in the first draft.
Then when you get to your creative practice each day, look at the shortlist and choose something that sparks you & work on that.
You should be able to find something that excites you because you pulled this shortlist together from things that sparked you.
Just get used to following the spark of your creativity and working on things that excite you and make you want to show up to your writing or creative practice.
That feeling of being so excited about an idea will provide momentum & make it feel easy.
At the end of the week move everything out of your shortlist that you didn't get published or work on and start the process fresh again.
No idea MUST be worked on just because you didn't do it last week. Your only rule again is am I insanely excited to work on this idea? If yes, it goes into your shortlist to work on.
And don't worry, just because you move it back into your general idea bank doesn't mean you're never going to work on it or publish that idea. It just means that for this week it's not taking up mental energy and space.
What I generally find is that a few weeks (or even months) down the line it sparks me again and it's much easier to work on than if I had tried to push through the first time.
Don’t work with a stale idea bank. Find the ones that spark you each week and just keep following the spark.
If you like these short, practical process-driven articles then you will love my new course - The Spark Creator where I show you how to build a system for creating content that feels easy, effortless & helps you publish 100x faster.