Battling the Monkey Mind

For me, the biggest challenge of writing is the part where you’re making new things. It requires clearing off a place and a time (and unplugging the internet connection) to get into the zone and reach for the good stuff.

Now, I’m pretty good at the workaday labors—meeting deadlines, organizing interviews, research, editing. But creating is the hardest.

Even though I love my job, you should see how busy I get when it’s time to meet the maker in my brain. The plants need watering! I need another cup of tea! Am I hungry? Do the chickens need tending (especially the one who STILL ISN’T LAYING)? My nails need filing! (To be fair, my nails often need filing. Mostly due to the tending of chickens.)

I have no idea why I get so squirmy when it’s time to make the donuts. You’d think it would be the great release of every day, and I’d look forward to it with pleasure. This John Cleese video on the Brain Pickings website got me to thinking about it. It made me feel better to see that he seems so familiar with the struggle for creative discipline.

 Click here for the John Cleese video on creativity.

But here’s my question: Why do creative people have a hard time committing to the act of creation? It’s just sort of mysterious to me. We’re put on this earth to contribute our mojo, and then when it’s time to mojo our hearts out, the monkey mind takes over and suddenly it becomes crucial to surf online for a supper recipe. Next thing you know, it’s time to pick up the kids.

Have you ever felt that way? What do you think it’s about?

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