I beat myself up when I procrastinate.
Life is so damn short. For me, it’s inexcusable to lose too much time to excuse-making.
But I know how important it is to produce things. Not just one or two things, but many things. Similar things. Day after day after day.
It’s not all about quality at first. Worry about quality later. It’s about getting something down on paper today.
The Internet serves as a vivid reminder that seemingly everyone is better, more talented and more efficient than me.
I know that to avoid slipping into the unknown, I need to keep making things, and I need to get as many people as possible to see it often.
In this mind-bending matrix of creative output, there is no alternative route to gaining attention.
I just have to make more. Even if it’s just to keep me from getting angry with myself.
Whenever I produce and share lots of things in less time, the right things happen.
Opportunities come. Money is made. Like buttons are clicked.
It is what allowed me to gain traction as an illustrator when I was fresh-faced in the industry.
Good things happen when I write more. It happens when I draw more pictures.
There are two important reasons for this.
The first is that I improve, and often very quickly. The second is that with more material created, I can finish, deliver and share more.
That’s more people who see and can respond to better work.
So how, then, do we create more when the ugly face of procrastination is staring right at us?
People often talk about the merits of writing in short sprints. These are timed exercises in which you type out whatever comes to mind without thinking about it too much. You are writing fluidly, and you are writing in volume.
Doing this has led to the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of words on my computer. A lot of it is admittedly rubbish. Random thoughts that floated up and were stamped onto paper.
But more has been done, and often with little thought. My belief has grown as daily word counts tick happily upwards.
I now have more written fodder that can be cut down and refined into meaningful work.
More edited output at the ready means more material that can be shipped and published sooner.
And I am happy once again.
How can you apply the model of free-flowing writing sprints to your own work?
Sketch more. Photograph more. Experiment more. Build more. And do it all without expectation.
Many of us create to finish, rather than letting ourselves ease into the making of things. Of course, it can be improved and simplified later.
When we have too much to lose, we don’t do.
When I approach the page without worry, I act.
Writing many words in a short window has given back my time.
My craft gets sharper.
And more things are delivered to the people that need it.