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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Put on the Boxing Gloves

Creativity usually brings about change. It is human nature to find change uncomfortable. And to avoid it.  At all costs sometimes.

There are times when it takes monumental effort to press through and keep working toward the end result of a process or project.  I call it Putting on the Boxing Gloves.

All of my youth I had dreams of being a writer.  I wanted more than anything to write a book, or magazines, or even poetry and have it published.  Even though I wrote numerous poems and had many articles published, I still wanted to write a book.  The problem was that just thinking about trying to do so completely paralyzed me.  I couldn't even walk into my office.  I couldn't turn on the computer.  I couldn't even think about the project.

I knew I had to put on my boxing gloves in a big way.  I forced myself to go into the room. I didn't make myself do anything else...that day.  The next day, I went into the room and sat down. I turned on the computer.  But I couldn't do anything related to the book project.

The big problem was that I had a deadline.  I was scheduled to teach a class and was supposed to write the textbook for it.  And time was ticking.

I knew I had to get tougher with the fear of the creative process.  I had to decide whether it was important to me that the book I used was mine, not someone else's. I had to decide what I was willing to do to get the book written.  I made a decision.

It wasn't an overnight resolution, but day by day I made progress.  I started out the day by making a list of all the things that I was afraid of related to the book.  Then I wrote a list of all the benefits I'd get from completing the project.  I broke the book out into steps, starting with the table of contents.  I knew that I could change it later if I decided to do so.

Then I wrote the first chapter and the second.  I did not allow myself at that time to go back and edit or even read what I'd written.  By the time I got to the fifth chapter, I was engrossed and I forgot to be afraid. I forgot to do the lists.

And my progress just took off.  I met my deadline with several days to spare, the book got published and I was able to put away my boxing gloves until needed again.  It's a process that I've used to fight through anxieties for art shows preparations, public speeches, and other writing projects.

I suggest if you're stuck, in a rut, fearful of change or feeling uncreative, Put on the Boxing Gloves.

(c) 2012, SZing.  All rights reserved.