Celebrating the end of writer’s block on the back deck.
For the last month, I’ve been in a (self-imposed) bubble. No, I didn’t decide to do a digital detox. I didn’t go to New Jersey to marry Jon Bon Jovi. And no one bought my business for a billion dollars so that I could laze on a beach in Bali, sipping cocktails for the rest of my life.
The bubble has been the result of the fact that I’m been immersed in two major projects which have consumed my life. Hence, the infrequent blog posts, the paltry number of Tweets, the intermittent appearances on Facebook and – shame of all shames – the failure to experience Christmas properly (and all the things that go with it – like writing Christmas cards, putting thought into gifts, and so on).
Forgive me, I was on another planet.
While I wish I could have been Superwoman – able to combine overseeing these projects with everything else in life in a single bound – this was simply not going to happen.
And I’m ok with that. Because I’ve realised that trying to be Superwoman is completely unrealistic.
However, it’s not only my Christmas card recipients who suffered. Whenever I sat down to write anything, I drew a blank.
This. Has. Never. Happened. Before.
But it wasn’t really a case of regular writer’s block. It was “OMG-I-really-should-be-spending-my-time-on-Project-X-instead-of-this” writer’s block. My creativity was stuffed because of a combination of guilt, preoccupation, and a severe case of overwhelm. Whenever I sat down to write a blog post … *crickets*. Lots of them.
So what are these major projects that overtook my life for the past four to six weeks? Well, don’t get too excited. I have nothing huge to announce.
My fantasies have not come true. The rumours are not true. Jon Bon Jovi and I did not get married. (Although, if you missed it, our announcement about launching the Australian Writers’ Centre in Perth was a big one.)
In fact, one of these projects is unlikely to ever been seen by the public. But it will impact my life significantly.
In summary, we are preparing to launch a new website for the Australian Writers’ Centre. At the same time, we’re implementing a new “back end” which – in layman’s terms – is the software that powers our entire business. It’s the engine that’s supposed to keep my work and business streamlined and running smoothly. Trust me. The project is huge. In fact, for the past month, it’s been all consuming.
Tonight, my wonderful team and I broke the back of it. It’s not finished by any stretch of the imagination. But I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. And what a beautiful sight it is.
Since that happened, I’ve broken out the French champagne to celebrate – and, unsurprisingly, my creative mojo has returned from its mysterious holiday.
Having said that, I don’t regret my single-minded approach to this (long overdue) project. Last last year, I read The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
I LOVED IT.
The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
Despite it’s simple premise – although the blanket statement of “focus on one thing at a time” is a bit reductionist – it’s a compelling read. I highly recommend this book. As a result, I multi-task less (although I can’t quite bring myself to go cold turkey on this) and I’m getting significant tasks and proejcts completed, some of which have been hanging around for YEARS.
This laser-like focus has, admittedly, come at a price. But the benefits are worth it. The feeling of liberation and achievement that I feel right now in getting a pretty mammoth project done is … pretty damn fabulous.
In the coming months, I’ll be experimenting to see if I can maintain my creative output while still pursuing major projects. But I suspect that my time focusing on big tasks will need to be interspersed the periods where I can be creative – where I can play, blog and connect.
Who knows? I hope to be able to strike that delicate balance of powerful productivity and rewarding creativity. However, I suspect that, like Superwoman, this could be somewhat of a myth. Having said that, I never believe in the impossible. Which is probably why I live in hope that Jon Bon Jovi really will call one day.
I did manage to get this close to JBJ at his recent concert in Melbourne in December 2013, thanks to the awesome GinaMilicia.com (note: that’s my fuzzy photo, Gina takes much better ones!)