How to Paralyse Your Creativity in One Easy Step
If you’ve been following this blog with any regularity, you will have noticed that I haven’t posted much recently. Partly this is because I’ve been busy with my Dating After Forty series on the A to Z Date Ideas website. But mostly it’s because I managed to paralyse myself in one fell swoop. Here’s how.
I’m going to blame Corbett Barr, founder of the Think Traffic blog (now the Sparkline). He wrote a post called Write Epic Sh*t. It’s a great post, in which he tells his readers to eschew all that SEO stuff and just write epic sh*t. Write stuff that people want to read. Grab those pain points and give them solutions, and the rest will take care of itself.
So I tried. I started writing a post about my friend Kaila Prins, who really does write epic sh*t. Kaila is a recovering anorexic, who writes the most amazing, thoughtful pieces about eating disorders and body image and why Fitspiration sucks. I wrote a couple of paragraphs about Kaila, and then I stopped.
It was November 5th. Everything I thought I had to tell the world, every epic thought and deep insight I thought I had, went up in a Guy Fawkes bonfire. As soon as I felt that pressure on me, it all dried up. I did write my Dating After Forty pieces, and I think they are pretty good, but they aren’t Epic Sh*t. Unless I’m misunderstanding the concept. I think I’m just too ADD to construct an epic edifice, at least at this stage of the game.
I’ve decided that, while I have a huge amount of respect for Corbett and his ideas, I can’t set out to write epic sh*t. The mere thought paralyses me. All I can do is write the best pieces I can, and maybe some of them will turn out to be epic. If I can write with truth and vulnerability, maybe I can touch some people’s hearts, and if I’m really lucky, I’ll help someone. That would be truly sweet.
We all send our work into the world, as gifts to our fellow humans. Sometimes they strike a chord, and sometimes they don’t. But if we keep plugging every day, we are bound to get better at what we do. Maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll achieve epic. In the meantime, we just need to keep showing up.
How about you, do you set out to write epic sh*t? How does that work for you? Please share!