Don’t let feelings sidetrack your creativity

‘I can’t do it. I just can’t.’

There was a tremor in the little girl’s voice as she half pushed, half cycled her bike uphill. 

Dad was patient but firm.

‘Don’t think about that. Just focus on what’s next.’ 

Just focus on what’s next – I liked this advice so much that I had to scribble it down once I got back to the caravan park where we were staying in Albany, Western Australia. (Side note: Albany is charm on a stick – packed with history, scenery, splendid beaches and great people). 

‘Just focus on what’s next.’

In the middle of ‘doing’, it’s easy to get sidetracked by an internal running commentary on how we feel about what we’re doing. 

Judging our work is normal but focusing on those feelings, which are usually negative, can stall us. 

Instead, focus on what’s next. 

What’s next? Finish the work. Do more research. Read it out loud. Leave it alone for a while. When it comes time to edit, tease out specifics around what’s working and what’s not.

And here’s something I picked up from my tv producer days: when editing, consider changing the structure before you change the content itself. Even when editing scripts of some very experienced news reporters, I would often have to delete the opening paragraph or two. Many times, the story really starts in the second or third paragraph.  

Love yourself for doing this work.
It’s worth it. 

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