Why do writers … procrastinate?

writingA fabulous article by Megan McArdle drills down into the psychological warfare writers endure before putting pen to paper. The fear of writing something poorly is one of the biggest reasons we delay, until the fear of producing nothing at all wins out and we finally settle into work.

Steven Furtick says, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Guilty as charged.

When I’m struggling with a clunky piece, I’m comparing it with the polished quality of my published works, and with the genius of other completed works. So to help get over my impostor syndrome I’ve been learning to love the dirty process, independent of the quality or accolades that may follow. When I write for the love of the struggle, the fear of whether a piece will be any good becomes secondary.

Of course this struggle with insecurity isn’t unique to writers. I’m curious, how do you deal with procrastination?

Getty-ing images free

Embed from Getty Images
WordPress is abuzz about the move by Getty Images to make more than 35 million photos available to bloggers ‘free’ via the new HTML embed tool. Click this for info on how to get images into WordPress.

I’m happy to see this wonderful resource becoming more accessible. But is it fair to photographers feeling the pinch? Click here for an article appraising Getty’s ‘cynical’ decision in the British Journal of Photography. Although photographers will not get direct compensation, this is already the case when people right click and save their images online. The new tool will insure artists get attribution, and there is potential for monetization through embedded ads, similar to YouTube.

Faders up

Are your faders all the way up? I’m proud of myself for doing breakfast radio today, despite feeling so ill I would prefer a punch to the throat. And I was rewarded for my steadfast work ethic with a free practice session afterward to amp up my mixing board skills. While I was slapping at faders and dials like a baboon learning to read, I realized that how I program a desk is startlingly similar to how I’ve been living my life:

Graphic of a digital sound on black bottomI’ve been so focused on trying to find ‘the sweet spot’, not too loud, not too quiet, that I’ve missed out on the freedom that comes from jumping to extremes.

Do you grapple with this kind of perfectionism too?

Side view of Sound Mixer SystemSure it’s great when everything’s ticking along nicely, but the terror that comes from anticipating glitches dampens my enjoyment of the great. As soon as I succeed with one project, I’m already predicting possible failures for the next so I can pivot around them. It would be one thing if staying in the middle groove were fun, but it’s exhausting! So f*ck it. Here’s to a newfound bravery to take bigger risks, consequences be damned. Because in those failures will be a sweet release from perfectionism, and an acceptance of myself independent of accomplishments. So let’s see what happens when we jam our faders all the way up! Sometimes it’s good to live loud.