I've been trying to write this post all day. I got up early with the aim of getting lots of writing done, and yet it's now almost nine in the evening and I'm only just putting pen to paper. I can't even really say that I've been trying to write since this morning, my notebook has been closed until now, but I have wanted to get my creative juices flowing and be productive since the early hours. Wanting isn't even though, I have to actually do.
Why is it that sometimes I lack so much motivation to do the things that I long to achieve? I love writing, and hope it to be heavily involved in my future career, but I often find myself putting it off. Although I'm making the reason sound all mysterious and ambiguous, it's not at all. I can put my procrastination down to a fear of failure. Like many of us, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I tend to put huge pressure on myself when it comes to things I care about a great deal.
It took me a long time to start this blog last month. I spent a good couple of weeks planning and planning a meaty blog post on my move from Birmingham to Manchester. I wanted it to be an impressive, very well written, "perfect" post, and this pressure caused me to put off writing it as I was scared. I thought about it way too much, and when I finally did try to get some words out, it didn't sound natural or like my voice at all. Eventually, I scrapped the post (for now), and my first entry on Polly Cat Contemplates ended up being one I wrote quickly and spontaneously in the middle of the night.
Planning tasks in huge detail, rather than getting down and doing them is just another form of procrastination. It's like that old cliche of spending an age making a pretty, colour coded revision timetable to fool yourself into thinking you're being productive. Although a spot of planning is helpful, I often find that when I write in a more relaxed, spontaneous mind frame, I get better results and feel more motivated.
Fear of failure can be very debilitating and has the power to stop you from taking the first step in the direction of where you want to be. I'm writing this post with a cup of tea, a YouTube video playing in the background, and I'm wearing my comfy leggings and hoody. I only wrote a couple of quick bullet points as a guideline, rather than an extensive and intimidating plan. I adore writing and feel that it comes naturally to me. But the natural flow is at its best when I overlook my perfectionism... and just go with it.