Forget Willpower
‘Tis better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

There’s a reason why some of the most productive writers I know have a dedicated writing computer/laptop. (For those who don’t know what that is, it is a computer not connected to the internet, has no games and can basically do nothing else beside word processing–like a typewriter. If you don’t know what that is, look it up).

Why do these authors use such a boring tool?

Because they can get distracted (Oooh let me just check online for a little research…damn where did those five hours go?) they create an environment that makes it easy to succeed (i.e. just write–not check social media, not research, not chat with other writers, but just write).
Relying on willpower is tiresome because it’s exhausting to battle temptation every step of the way. So don’t.

You’ll stick with something long term if it’s fun and you see/feel a benefit. (Knowing something is good for you is never good enough, you have to do it to really believe it.)

If you can find an excuse you will, so don’t make room for them. Alter your surroundings to suit the outcome you want. To see how productive you can be:

Consider turning off your phone for an hour, keeping it out of your ‘creativity zone’.

Consider creating a separate space that has only the things that fuel your creativity (some creatives love silence, others need noise)

Or designate a certain time at a select location where you can create.

It doesn’t have to be fancy–(an expensive studio or office by the ocean)–but visual cues are very helpful. (When I sit at my designated computer/laptop I’m forced to just write because there’s nothing to distract me and my mind says ‘oh yes I know why I’m here’)

Know what your weakness are, then move them out of your way. Just like you wouldn’t buy a chocolate cake every week if you were trying to lose weight, or load up your credit card if you were trying to get your finances in order, don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to resist what you enjoy.

Don’t fight–time, family, stress, distractions, temptations–make it easy to be the creative person you are by making your surroundings suit you.

Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes a day.

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“Forget Willpower” copyright © 2016 Dara Girard; Image copyright © 2016 by 123rf

My latest non-fiction title, 10 Things to Forget: to be Creatively Free was a blast to write. On this blog, I’ve been writing on topics that didn’t make it into the book and others I’ve expanded on. You can read the other posts here.