Creative Procrastination?

Anyone here read 'the war of art'? It's a book designed to help you get over your creative hurdles.

I was recommended this by a photographer friend, not because I was suffering from any creative-writers-block, but because he thought it would help me understand the pains I am going through with my Workshop business. In that respect, the book has been great - allowing me to understand that anyone who goes into business, is essentially going it alone. There's no backup, it's all up to you. And also the hurdles in making the jump in the first place.

Cerro Torre, after several attempts

But what I'd like to talk about is creative procrastination. Do you feel you suffer from it?

I certainly suffer from procrastination in some areas of what I do - namely stepping outside of my comfort zone. It may be a surprise to you to learn that each time I get on a plane to go someplace, I'm filled with dread and fear the night before. I'm aware of it and I've recognised that I have a tendency to 'settle in' when I'm at home. Only to find that getting on a plane to go to somewhere new like Eithiopia (which is on my list), is initially a terrifying experience for me.

But that's not creative-procrastination.

I've met many people who tell me they'd love to do what I do, to make images and travel. When I ask them 'why don't you?', I get told that they 'don't have the time'.

My argument is that if you really want to do something, really, really, then you make time. You have to do it. I believe that when people say 'they don't have the time', they're really saying that they're really not that bothered. It's not a big thing for them. In the way that I'd quite like to learn a different language. I know I won't though, because I don't have the drive to put the hours in.

A photographer friend of mine recently said to me about this site - 'one thing's clear; you've worked your ass off to create these images'. I wasn't aware of it, but when I think about it, that is true. But It didn't feel like hard work, even though I do come home from trips exhausted and fatigued. It just feels that it's something I have to do. It's all pervading in my thoughts.

There is a quote in the book about Ernst Hemmingway, when asked if he worked only when he was inspired, said 'yes, I work between the hours of 9 and 5'. Or something to that effect. Basically suggesting that the act of working brings inspiration. I'd tend to agree with that from the point of view that if I don't go out to make pictures, then I don't get inspired. I have to put myself in a position and start to work to see if anything will come. Some days I'll come home with nothing while others I will come home with something that I never in my dreams expected to get that day.

Some of us have very high standards, we've either developed a style and find it hard to maintain that level of quality, or we give ourselves a hard time before we've even started. In order to be creative, I feel we have to let ourselves go and be open to what may come.

So I'd like to hear your thoughts on creative-procrastination. Does it affect you and if so, in what way?