The power of do.

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Quick show of hands: anyone here write for a living? Design? Do something creative?

How often do you have to deal with "writer's block" or "creative's block"? Yeah, me too.

In fact, this syndrome isn't exclusive to the creative field, either. Plenty of people in business or at home simply procrastinate doing something because their "get-up-'n-go got up and went". There's always something else to do, some bill to pay, someone that needs your attention and some lead you need to follow up on. The problem? Getting started.

In the movie Finding Forrester, Rob Brown's character Jamal Wallace sits down with his mentor, played by Sean Connery and struggles to begin writing his story on a old-school typewriter. After several seconds of deafening silence, Connery shouts, "For God's sake, just tap the keys!" (emphasis mine). And right there, Jamal learns the best tip he'll ever get about overcoming writer's block and writing a good story: just tap the keys.

When you look at the list of stuff you have to do, it can get overwhelming. When you think about what you forgot, it can guilt you into a depression. Rather than try and point out some new piece of software or give you some step-by-step formula to getting your to-do list to-done, let me just offer you this advice; write it down if you need to or want to and then just do it. Just start on the first thing. Make a goal. Need to write that paper tomorrow? Crank out three paragraphs or a page of ideas tonight before bed. Trying to dredge up the inspiration for a new logo design? Just put a pencil to paper and draw for awhile.

There is amazing power in just doing something. Inevitably it leads to a) doing the thing you meant to do and b) getting something done. And let's face it, when you get something done, you feel good about yourself, even if only for a little while.

So what are you still reading for? I know you've stuff that needs doing. Get out there and do!

2 Comments

  1. Doug Stewart on December 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Great advice Micah. There are times when I get out the egg timer. Put it on my desk and start writing non-stop for 50 minutes. I will have a goal in mind. But I write without editing. Just dump whatever is in my brain on paper. If I don’t know what to write during some point during the 50 minutes, I write “here is what I’m writing next…” I don’t stop writing though. I write until the timer goes off. Editing and polishing can come later.

    • Micah on December 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      Great tips, Doug! Thanks for sharing. I agree that sometimes, it’s great just to do a “brain dump” and get some stuff out there. Should probably get myself an egg timer!

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