Last week, or maybe the week before, the inimitable Pip Lincolne of Meet Me At Mikes posted a link to a Buzzfeed post of 37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading.
I’m always looking for a book to procrastinate with, particularly the creative books that tell you how to do things, and how you should be working, and how you should be setting up your files or Tupperware drawer or potting shed.
There seems to be a certain irony on reading a book on how to work. Step One should be, put down the bloody book and just do the work.
However, I did see a few on the list that piqued my interest and recognised a few I had already read.
It’s not a silver bullet but it did give me some important information which has enabled me to make some changes in my working week.
As a result. I got more done last week than I have for months.
The main change I made were to not overwhelm myself with a To Do list. Yes I like them, as I have said before, but I would tend to do everyone on the list in a day, then complain I had no time to do any writing, and be exhausted the next day.
Now I do three tasks a day outside of my work. Nor more than three, do you hear me?
You can pick up the dry-cleaning and do to the supermarket, and maybe make some soup, but then you must do some creative work.
Having being raised by the daughter of a martyr, I tended to overdo my list, it must be in my DNA. However, it’s been fairly easy to change. And I wrote 10,000 words in a week for a new short story for the UK. And I did some heavy reading for my freelance job, and heavy writing, sent a few chapters of a new book off to a editor friend for her opinion, and I managed to see a friend for coffee and a movie with Dave.
The issue with self-directed creativity is that the creators often allow themselves to be distracted by the world, as though the world says, ‘You only write, paint, sing, etc. It doesn’t matter if we interrupt you.’
If you allow them to interrupt you, then you’re agreeing. If you aren’t going to back yourself, then who the hell will? Believe in your skill.
I don’t answer the phone when I’m writing. I don’t answer emails. I don’t answer to anyone asking where something is in the house. Use your own eyes. Believe in your self enough to find the lost drink bottle, keys, glasses, school tie. You can do it.
Now I’m off to edit a YA book that has been looming since March. I haven’t had the time or the head space, as it’s not romance. It’s confronting and raw and real. It requires me to be present in every way while I rework the words.
Today is a good day for a good day.
Peace out peeps.