The crux of my procrastination is that “I don’t wanna” or “I don’t feel like it” emotion that serves no purpose. For me, it’s worse than laziness.
It’s not caring enough at that given moment to do something that I truly want done. It’s a thick blanket on my dreams and goals, and all the little steps it takes to complete them.
You don’t have to feel like doing something in order to do it—even if it’s a creative endeavour. The Muse is a philosophical idea. You don’t need to rely on this personification of “inspiration mixed with motivation” to produce anything. Sure, it may not feel as nice as it could, but that’s the point: you don’t have to feel nice about it. You don’t have to feel anything.
I’ve lived most of my life believing my actions and my emotions need to be married while doing something creative. Painting, drawing, poetry, writing, singing… These all sit within the arts (and there are others, which I’m not skilled at). And the arts need emotion, right?
A career (or intended career) in the arts has become so laced with an emotional investment that people think there needs to be emotion in the artist in order to produce emotion in the viewer. But that’s not true. In my experience, you just need to be saying something. That’s it. You just need to be saying something, whether it’s the truth or a lie, and some reaction will form in the reader or viewer or listener. You, as the creator, don’t need to do anything else but make a statement.
If you aren’t writing confessional poetry, then you don’t need to feel anything in order to write it.
You do not need to sit in a place where you want to do what you’ve decided to do. This doesn’t remain isolated to creative acts. It can be anything, whether it’s having a shower, going for groceries, or doing a school assignment. Why do you have to “feel like it” to do it? Can you imagine if you lived every action of your life invested in the desire to do that action? You would be exhausted after half a day.
What if a firefighter didn’t feel like risking their life? What if they didn’t feel like responding to a car crash? Do they let their lack of desire stop them from doing what needs to be done? No. And the arts are no different.
The point is that I’m not taking into consideration whether I feel like doing it. I may not feel like sitting and writing a blog post—literally how I feel while writing and editing this post—but I do it anyway. Because it doesn’t matter whether I feel like it. Because what matters is that, from the depths of my being, I want it done.
I want the end product. That’s what matters. It doesn’t matter how I feel going into the start, because I don’t care about how I start or when I start. I only care when I have something at the end. Even a shitty first draft.
My biggest piece of advice for anyone is the motto I’ve been telling myself.
You don’t have to feel like doing something in order to do it.
Here is my disclaimer: I have chronic depression. I often do not feel anything. How can I do something, whether it’s creation or housekeeping or hygiene, if I feel numb? If the abstract location for my emotions has turned into a void? If I let the black hole of depression continue to dictate what I can, can’t, will, and won’t do?
I will not let the whim of indifference control me when it is kin to apathy.