“These new addictions are a lure for everybody, but they are especially alluring to folks like full-time writers who spend their working days on the computer a mere split second away from Internet access.”
Creativity coach and author Eric Maisel – see more of his perspectives below.
The image above is from Thriving as a highly sensitive person – a collection of articles, books, programs.
“To begin…To begin…How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think…”
That is writer ‘Charlie Kaufman’ [played by Nicolas Cage] in the movie “Adaptation” – written by the real screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. It’s a great film about the kinds of insecurities, anxieties and distractions that can so often beset creative people.
Creativity coach Lisa A. Riley describes a common scene for many creators:
“So you’ve decided to get an early start, wake before the rest of the world begins their day and be productive.
“You grab a cup of coffee, a quick bagel and head over to the office (or studio.) You sit down in front of the computer facing the stark emptiness of your blank screen.
“You gaze for a moment and then take a few sips of coffee, waiting for the caffeine to kick in.
“Facing the screen, eyes fixated on the blinking cursor, your fingers in position, waiting with anticipation like a runner waiting for the sound of the gunshot.
“Nothing comes to mind. Your eyes conveniently notices the flashing email icon in the corner of your screen, suddenly drawn like a magnet, you decided to check your email.
“At another attempt to focus on formulating a sentence, you some how justify getting up to throw a load of laundry in the wash.”
“If this sounds like a familiar scenario, well, you are not alone.
“Many of us have experienced this form of procrastination. Where we give into the rationalization that once these convenient distractions are completed and put to rest, we can create. When in reality, this is an indication of our own internal resistance to facing the act of producing something.
“Feelings of self-doubt, criticism and negative beliefs can produce anxiety around the creative process.”
She admits she has often caught herself in this “avoidance cycle when it comes time to paint. The familiar anxiety that I struggle through before I can let go and allow myself to just create without expectation, without judgment or projection of the worse.
“I don’t always arrive at that place easily, sometimes it takes hours before I allow myself to lean into the discomfort and finally put the brush to the canvas.”
And she has learned that “leaning into the flame as opposed to retracting away from it, is the best solution.”
Continued in her article Seeking A Convenient Distraction.
In his article The Distraction Addictions, Eric Maisel, PhD writes about working on one of his many books:
“I’ve thought a lot about those special addictions that might be dubbed the distraction addictions, addictions like compulsive Internet surfing, online shopping, and video game playing that have sprung up alongside our technological advances.
“These new addictions are a lure for everybody, but they are especially alluring to folks like full-time writers who spend their working days on the computer a mere split second away from Internet access.
“If we are even minimally anxious, resistant, discouraged, uncertain or unmotivated and therefore eager to find some way to avoid getting on with our writing, how strong the pull is to distract ourselves with a beckoning, right-at-hand Internet possibility.”
One of his books: “Mastering Creative Anxiety: 24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians, and Actors from America’s Foremost Creativity Coach.
In the book, he asks:
“Are you creating less often than you would like? Are you avoiding your creative work altogether? Do you procrastinate? That’s anxiety.
“Do you resist getting to your work or marketing your work? That’s anxiety. Do you have trouble deciding which creative project to tackle? That’s anxiety. Do you find completing work hard? That’s anxiety.”
In his many years of counseling as a psychotherapist, he has found, “Anxiety regularly stops creative people in their tracks and makes their experience of creating more painful than pleasurable.
Read more and see video of him in my post: Creative Anxiety.
Eric Maisel, PhD is author of more than 50 books, and provides multiple programs on creativity, personal development, life purpose and meaning, enjoying a successful creative life and business.
Eric Maisel provides multiple courses and programs including:
Mastering the One-Person Business
Life Purpose Boot Camp Self-Paced Instructor Training
Your Best Mind Ever
A New Look at Achieving Emotional Health
A New Look at Overcoming Creative Anxiety
A New Look at Mastering Creativity
Learn more on the page
How to have a more successful creative life – Eric Maisel programs