Claudia and I are nearly at the end of “Weddingarama.” We fly out tomorrow morning to celebrate a milestone birthday for my mom and to attend the last of six weddings in eight weeks (these last three weddings in three weeks).
It is an honor it is to witness the most important day of our friends’ and family members’ lives. But I’ll be honest, there have been moments of urgency-induced panic.
Like this morning when I realized I needed to write a blog post today. Drafting a post can be quick, but fiddling with the format, graphics, links, tags, etc. is time-consuming. “I have to write a blog post” wrestled with “I want to work on my novel.”
What’s most important to me as a writer today is working on my novel. So instead of fighting with myself or reacting with panic, I found a creative alternative: I’m giving most of my Product Time (aka writing time) to my novel. I’m curtailing the time spent on this blog by re-running a post that dovetails with last week’s post. I hope you find this post as useful as I did when I re-read it this morning.
Panic Is the Death of Creativity
When you think “I’ve got to figure this out NOW or something awful is going to happen,” your chances of coming up with a unique solution are minimal. You’ll come up with something — it just won’t be something creative. (more about the brain science of why waiting to the last minute destroys creativity)
On the other hand, Seth Godin points out that a complete absence of urgency is just as deadly for innovation.
He writes that one of “…the two warning signs of the person in the grip of the resistance” is the thought “‘I can take my time…”’
Godin emphasizes, “You don’t need more time, you just need to decide.”
What kinds of things do you panic about? What writing tasks do you delay until you get an adrenaline rush to get you through? When and where do you need to slow down, relax and give yourself space and time to play with possibilities?
What kinds of things do you lack urgency about? What writing projects have you delayed because you have plenty of time to “get around to it someday”? When and where do “you just need to decide” and take action?
How can give yourself enough, but not too much, urgency?