Replace Your Fear

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.
– m

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