There are times when I am just stuck. I sit down and ready myself to produce something. “Self,” I say, “let’s get something out.” It might be a photo, an article, a spreadsheet, an update to a blog. Maybe it is just an appointment for coffee with a colleague. Now I am getting impatient. “Self,” I say, “why are you procrastinating? Didn’t you just say you had tons of great ideas for new articles?” Self is silent. Self is giving no clue as to the source of his obstinacy.
Now I am beginning to worry. Have I been too demanding of Self? Perhaps taking the weekend off to visit family caused too much stress or was too fun or was just 'too.' You know what I mean. I’ve known Self for some time. It seems a mere lifetime ago we first met. Self was kind of a rough fellow at that time. He was untrained and uneducated, but at the same time he seemed to be a nice sort. Over the years he has had his ups and downs like the rest of us. But one thing I have noticed for a long while is his incredible creative procrastination. I thought Self had that problem licked. I was beginning to feel that merely getting him in front of a computer or a pad of paper was enough for the energy or words to begin to flow. I even got him to take a course in mastering writer’s block. Now I am really worried. Today, it was almost as if sitting him down at the computer resulted in the total opposite to the desired outcome. Instead of writing, he was off on emails, running errands, washing out the bird bath. He just plain refused to put his mind or energy toward meeting his deadline!
Over the last few months, Self has responded really well to Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way.” If you want to learn some great techniques for overcoming the deadly killer of creativity, writer’s block, then this book is for you. Self responded well. He was a little stubborn at first. He didn’t want to go back to writing by hand for some of the exercises, but he soon relented and began to enjoy the work. It wasn’t too long before he was ripping off stream of consciousness exercises before the morning coffee had brewed. He was learning the key technique for opening up his creativity. That technique, of course, is suspending self judgment. So Self was doing well. He basically learned how to turn him-Self off while he wrote. As Julia essentially said to him, “Self, your job is quantity. Let God, or your Source, or whatever you want to call your inner spirit, worry about the quality.”
So here we sit, Self and I. I must admit, it was a long weekend. Self did get some pictures at his granddaughter’s birthday celebration in Texas. And Self is teaching her about bird watching. I guess Self deserves a break and I shouldn’t worry so much. He can be a good sort. And I'll keep on his tail about next week's article.