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This episode is about the very thing that kept me from making the podcast for nearly three years. Prerequisite procrastination. What a pain.
I put my finger on what to call this particular subspecies of procrastination during a video conversation with members of our online community (we do things like talk about the specific ways we procrastinate; you should get in on this).
Listen for what this wee beast is, and what we can do to defeat it so we start making things we really want to make (like, as I said, this podcast).
- Each episode this season begins with a short clip of a maker or artist talking about a recent project they were obsessed with. I recorded all of these in April of 2019 at Camp Thundercraft, a retreat for creative businesspeople held each spring and hosted by the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising. I’m very excited to be going back to teach two classes at the 2020 retreat coming up.
- Kicking things off is a clip of ceramicist Sean Forest Roberts of Forest Ceramic Co. talking about some incredibly intricate mugs he makes out of dozens of layers of colour. You have to see it to really get it. Since I met him and learned of his work, I have been desperately coveting a Galaxy mug 😍.
- Here are some of my favourite things to do when I’m stuck in a procrastination rut:
- Set a timer. I can do anything for 20 minutes, and often all I need to get out of my head and into making something is decide to just do it for a few minutes. Doing it a little bit is far better than not doing it at all.
- Along similar lines, this tired cliche: Done is better than perfect. It is so tired. And it is so true.
- (You will notice that the sound quality of the Camp Thundercraft clips this season are not the best. I considered the task of cleaning up the audio one of the prerequisites that kept me from making this podcast for ten months. I have cleaned them up, believe it or not, but really, I just needed to stop worrying about it and just make the episodes.)
- Consider whether I really want to do the thing I’m putting off. There’s a section in Make It Mighty Ugly where I write about gut feelings. Sometimes we need to do something that makes us uncomfortable, because we grow from it. Sometimes, though, we feel uncomfortable because it’s a terrible idea. We do ourselves a great service when we get to know the difference.
- Throwing my first try under the bus. Sometimes, I procrastinate because I’m so excited about the idea of making something that I become terrified that the thing I make will be awful. So I make my first attempt an effort at making it terrible – doing it too fast, or not reading the instructions closely, or using crap materials, or whatever. This way I can’t be disappointed, and I will at least be making something. After this first terrible attempt, there’s nowhere to go but up.
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