۸ ways Discomfort is Good for Creativity
Discomfort. What does it mean? What is its purpose?
What have I learned about the state of what I call creative discomfort from my previous efforts?
So here are a few suggestions I hope will help you manage your own discomfort when creating something—whether it’s a novel, or building a business, or simply trying to bring a more creativity into your daily life.
۱٫ Consider changing how you perceive the state of discomfort. Most of us will do anything to avoid discomfort, but this time around I’m going to let it do its proper job. I’m going to see it as a reflection of my urge to grow, change, shed old skin, and expand something in myself.
۲٫ Find a comfortable creative space to help you engage — positively — with discomfort. For example, if you’re a writer with children or your living quarters are crammed, leaving the house can be a necessity. Find a comfortable space where you can go on a regular basis and switch on creativity — in a café, a library, or even the backseat of your car if necessary.
۳٫ Clear your mind. Recently, I started meditating, starting with three minutes, and working up to eight minutes per session. It’s an easy, free resource that can open your mind and ready yourself for the inevitable discomfort that creating something engenders.
۴٫ Commit to a regular schedule devoted to creativity. A novel, or most any long-term creative endeavor, needs steady attention to power through. Even if I only have 30 minutes a day, a regular schedule builds a healthy writing habit. This, in turn, helps me manage the challenge of figuring out what the hell I’m doing with my newest novel.
۵٫ Break things down into smaller parts. This pairs well with keeping to a regular schedule. When writing a novel, or taking on any large task that is creative and meaningful, start with smaller units. When I wrote Strangers In Budapest, I committed to 500 words a day. For my current novel-in-progress, I wrote 1000 words a day, three days a week, because I had to write primarily on the weekends.
۶٫ Use the energy of discomfort to nudge you forward. This time around, I’m going to imagine discomfort as an energy producer, something that activates my creative mind.
۷٫ Write simple, positive affirmations and recite them daily. I write mine on file cards — one sentence for each affirmation per card will do. A few examples of affirmations: a) I believe in myself and b) I welcome the challenge of discomfort.
۸٫ Be grateful for what discomfort has to teach you. Creating is an act of devotion. It requires regular attention and attendance. So, I’m going to do my best to thank my pal, discomfort, for sticking with me all these years and for fortifying my desire to