I received an email from a budding writer. She asked, “How can I get so much done in so little time?” My answer was simple: Learn to say NO and get to work. Both are the two simple principles for creating meaningful content. Procrastination kills all artistic endeavors. The only way to slay that dragon is to get to work and guard your time because its the most precious resource we have. I’m anxious when I procrastinate, so I just get to work and see what comes to me naturally. I try not to overthink about what I want to create nor do I have illusions of grandeur. I just have a trust in the process of writing itself.
I’ve learned that if you want to write, just sit down and shut up. Let the pen do the talking. Stop thinking about what you are going to do and just do it. Embrace the grind. Its better than doing nothing and telling people about what you are going to do. I’ve had many friends tell me their intentions and then they don’t back it up with actions. Nothing annoys me more than that, especially when they complain that their creative life is going nowhere. Your intention and action have to unite. This is why I don’t tell anyone what I’m writing about until I have finished. I’m currently writing my seventh book with my sixth book is in the bag. You’ll find out about both of these books when they are ready to be published.
But all my work and my future projects (which I can’t tell you about yet because there is no actions to back them up) are built on learning to say NO. You can’t fulfill your creative juices if you are constantly meeting friends and family, playing with your phone, watching TV, surfing the Internet, or saying yes to every opportunity that goes your way. You need to say NO! Make it loud and clear so everyone gets the message. As a content creator, or an artist in general, large chunks of undistracted time is what you need. If you don’t cultivate this sort of creative isolation then you’ll create nothing meaningful. Think of all the great artists you have been inspired by, this is how they did it.
It sounds nice to think that artists sit around coffee shops waxing lyrical about deep topics, but we don’t live in a fantasy world. It doesn’t mean an artist doesn’t love their friends and family, it just means they know what it takes to create meaningful art. Saying NO will give you the time to express your deepest nature, but you can’t sit around dreaming about it, you gotta get to work. We can all inspire the world with our own art by following these two simple principles. Do you have what it takes? Don’t be afraid to share your art and heart with the world.