Starting something is always difficult for me. Whether it be a project, a run (sorry that is a flat lie. I don’t run, I walk at an accelerated pace) or even a new tv show, taking the first step to actually begin is the most treacherous ordeal for me. My Dad had always told me “it’s not enough to just show up” when it comes to school and life. But I have found showing up something is often the hardest part. Doing the thing is rarely as stressful or punishing as getting the motivation to actually turn up.
My procrastination doesn’t stem from laziness, it is born out of fear. It can stop me in my tracks. Before I even get a pen out of my pencil case to write a sentence, fear is reminding always me about infinite reasons why I shouldn’t even bother. So the pen will remain in the pencil case, the sentence remains unwritten, and another project has been abandoned before it even had a chance to begin.
Creative ideas are especially great at remaining just that – ideas. They seldom became anything more than that distance dream or project because beginning them is a battle. Something to be completed when [enter excuse here]. There’s always reason to delay. But, I’m trying to break through that. And this blog is evidence of that. I am forever abandoning it then pushing through the fear and trying again with it. It is a process.
Currently I am trying to write a few short scripts for my internships. It is one of the first times where people from the industry actually want to read my work. It is terrifying. I don’t want to fuck it up. I’m worried that’ll format it wrong, I’ll miss the point completely or I’ll write something so shitty that they regret taking the time and effort to even read the words on the page. Therefore, I don’t write anything at all. I just watch the cursor blink back at me expectingly. Sometimes I feel like it is mocking me.
Opening Final Draft after months of simply ignoring it feels intimidating. Reminds of me when I first began my Screenwriting degree at VCA and was faced with the idea of writing a screen play. But I’m finished that degree and written plently of scripts on the oh so professional Final Draft. I just don’t know how to begin.
I was working on my major project for University last year, and I would try to write an inspirational quote at the top of a blank page in my notebook. Something I hoped would motivate me such as “inspiration exists. It just needs to find you working” or “you can’t edit a blank page”. These did motivate me to a point. However I found myself scribing in block letters “JUST FUCKING WRITE SOMETHING” when all else failed. And so I would write something. Even if it was “I don’t know what to write :)”. I ended up with a script and idea I was proud of. The simple act of turning up lead to hard work, all resulting in a project completed.
Now I’m trying that approach with my new project.
Write something. Anything. Let it be what it’ll be. You can fix it later. What is gonna look worse than a terrible script? No script at all. I’m gonna write that script and I will let it be terrible. Because sometimes you’ve just got to get yourself to show up and then see what happens.
How I allow myself begin;
- Turn my phone on ‘do not disturb’. Trust me no one actually wants to talk to you. You’ll just end up watching ‘Kylie Jenner’s shadiest moments’ and then hating yourself
- Leave the house to work – the effort of getting a spot at the library or price of a coffee at a cafe is usually enough to guilt me into working
- Read a chapter of the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Forever inspiring. I’ll probably do a seperate blog post on how much I love this book.
- Put on a banging playlist. When I’m hearing these tunes I’m entering a work headspace . You can find my current writing playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/user/1267687301/playlist/2ThFeXYUARSAaLqdBFbKYY?si=ZzjKooS5RA6je1Zha80fog
- By simply repeating to myself “I am committing to the page”.