One of the scariest things I face each day is a blank computer screen. Recently, I learned a trick from Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit that helps to overcome my anxiety.
I have replaced my fear with a habit. I do the same thing each morning to get started writing:
- Drag myself out of bed early. (5:00ish)
- Grab coffee.
- Stumble to home office (a spare bedroom actually).
- Twenty minutes of yoga.
- Sit on the office floor with a notepad and think for ten minutes. I invite thoughts to float through my mind. (Another strategy from Twyla Tharp’s book, this is the opposite of meditation). Meditation is trying to quiet your mind. This approach stimulates ideas.
- Jot down words, phrases, and ideas that ‘pop into’ my mind (they always do).
I am now ready to move to the computer and expand on the notes I’ve made. I write for about an hour, working on a current project.
This combination of exercise, un-meditation, and a daily writing schedule kick-starts the creative process.
You might argue that my habit is no more than superstition – a belief that I can’t proceed without performing this ritual.
Call it superstition or call it habit.
I’ll take it over procrastination and fear any time.