I think Nike got it mostly right: Just Do It.
Writers, in particular – creative thinkers, in general – need this advice. It finally dawned on me while painting a birdhouse.
Writers have GOT to do stuff. Anything. (besides, you know, illegal activity, stuff that harms oneself, etc.) Holing myself up in a room with my creativity and music works sometimes – not all the time. Only if I get a brain-blast and must funnel all my brain matter into a masterpiece can I do that and be successful. I finally realized that a set schedule, a plan, preparedness DOESN’T work in the creative scheme of things.
If my family wants to watch a movie together, let’s do it; if my sis wants to paint nails, sure; if a friend invites me to a party, sounds good; etc. Without taking a break from myself and exhausting my creative muscles, I might only end up with a headache and a failure.
I try (edit: tried) to aim for a ukulele practice, some sort of advancement in my writing, completing all my homework and practicing guitar each night. Why the heck did I do that? I mean, that’s a great goal, and I hope to achieve it sometime, but I’ve finally noticed that that kind of plan crushes and dissolves any sort of creative experimentation, relaxation, and/or growth! I’ve been metaphorically suffocating myself the past two(ish) weeks!
And I’ve come to a startling conclusion: I want to thank swimming.
Why do I thank the activity that I almost despised while it was in season? The sport that left me practically NO time to stretch my creative muscles?
I may have had less time to stretch my creative muscles, but that time constriction had me yearning and creating with more passion since I did not have all the time in the world to do it. I had to want and need to write and practice guitar really bad to make time for it. And when I did, sure I was tired, but I accomplished what I wanted.
What I had made for myself was a business-like scheme to improve, but instead of leaping improvements, I just got angry when I couldn’t get everything done. I’m human: I can’t get everything done, all the time. Especially when I try to nurture hobbies as well as the usual stuff like school. I was finally socked in the face with the fist of wisdom, suggesting that pausing in the middle of a post to listen to my sister rant about her crazy Sims families will not tarnish my progress and taking a breather to schedule an all-cake party with a friend might be exactly what I need.
Yes, I don’t think any other hobbies or interests could replace my all-time favorites – music and writing – but doing other stuff is essential. Learning and doing other stuff usually helps with the stuff you want to do. For example, fantasy writers, if they’re smart, read non-fiction and historical stuff to better their fantastical writings. And although doing other stuff can give me material and tools to expand with in my creative interests, that’s not the only reason to expand my realm of everyday activities. Doing other stuff takes my brain away from writing and music, shakes it upside-down, sideways, takes it for a spin and treats it to a dance, then, sometime, returns it refreshed with a new idea or two that I can noodle around with later.
However, I found one tiny flaw in Nike’s three-word motto.
The very first word.
I wouldn’t say: Just Do It.
I’d say: Do It, For The Love Of God, Do It Already.