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Navigating through a world of distractions is tough even at the best of times, but if you're like me and practically every other creative out there, then procrastination is probably your best friend and worst enemy.
I can't tell you how many times I've absolutely HAD TO vacuum, clean out the fridge and dust skirting boards all before I felt ready to sit down and write, or play music.
Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with getting your ducks in a row before you take on a monumental task, but I am asking you to stop and think about whether getting started on something creative (or picking it back up after a hiatus) is really all that momentous?
Sometimes (read: pretty much always) I think it's more to do with fear. And that's a perfectly good reason to feel hesitant about doing something, but it's not the reason that should be holding you back.
It's so easy in this current climate to feel afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, or not being good enough. But let me tell you a little secret. No one starts out perfect, no one is great to begin with. Yes even those maestro's and born geniuses have to work hard at getting to that level (maybe not quite as hard as the rest of us, but they still work at it).
If you're worried about people's opinions, me telling you "don't be" isn't going to help. (It didn't work for me so it probably won't work for you either, unless you're one of the rare few unaffected by other people's opinions.)
However I offer you this: When you receive a negative comment on something creative you've put out there, instead of getting depressed over the comments and wanting to give up, think about why someone was compelled to comment on your work. The negativity is coming from THEIR fear. Maybe they're struggling to put something out there for the world to see, and they don't like that other people are putting work out there (albeit not at the perfection level, but we all have to start somewhere!). Maybe they see potential in you/your work, that they feel the pangs of jealousy and envy, wanting to cut you down so they can climb higher (thankfully that's not the way it works.)
Basically get yourself a good tribe surrounding you. By tribe I mean family, friends, your beloved pet, whatever it is that works for you. Create a space that's safe and nurturing but also wide enough to push you to create further.
Go to concerts you wouldn't normally go to (and if you don't normally see live music, get out there, support your local musicians in your towns/cities, there are so many wonderful and talented unsigned musicians at open mic nights and singing at restaurants/bars/clubs).
Go to art shows and galleries. Some of these can be free, and they can be completely inspiring and mind blowing.
Connect with other creatives. Never has the world been so connected than it is right now.
Some of my best and current collaborations have happened because of a simple DM in my instagram or youtube inbox. Don't underestimate the power of reaching out to artists you admire and want to create with. Now it probably won't work if you shoot Beyonce an email, but if you see talent that you like on a social media platform, reach out, be polite if they turn you down, but it's a great way to find the perfect people to collaborate with.
If all that fails, just keep going. Keep creating, keep putting yourself out there. Because no one ever succeeded by sitting in their house wishing for the life they wanted.