A couple Fridays ago, I received a Divine Download for a microfilm about moving. I was a week away from moving to my new apartment and knew that I had to start packing. I decided that would be the day I’d get started.
And then as I was writing my AM blog post, an idea came through me for a story about a frustrated woman who was moving and needed to pack her apartment.
Something like that had never happened to me before, but I immediately saw the entire story play out in my mind, visually. I saw the different shots I’d need for the film. I even thought of a random-but-hopefully-still-funny ending.
Other than livestreams or quick videos where I just talk into the camera, I hadn’t filmed anything story-related before. (When I was a kid I used to make videos with my brother and friends, but those were always improv and never scripted.)
This was all pretty new to me, and so I decided to find some videos on YouTube to give me an idea of what I needed to know and do to make this work. After watching a handful of videos from a guy who teaches you how to make movies without going to film school (his name is D4Darious and you can find him on YouTube, in case you’re interested in learning this too), I decided it was time to put what I’d learned into action.
I immediately started storyboarding and scripting out the microfilm. And then right after, I downloaded a DSLR camera app for my iPhone, set up my tripod and dove into filming.
I had all of the scenes filmed in under two hours. Then I spent the next two days marinating on the story and on what I’d filmed, thinking about how I’d weave everything together.
On Monday, three days after I got the idea for the microfilm, I spent a couple of hours editing the video (with the very basic video-editing skills I have) and putting the story together in a cohesive way that could be shown in one minute.
After I watched it over and over again, tweaking things here and there, I called it done. And then I started to share it around to my closest friends and family, just to get it out there.
I went from story idea to finished microfilm in four days!!! And the crazy part is, doing something like this used to be totally unheard of for me.
A decade ago, when I was deep into my procrastinating writer behaviors, I would’ve come up with the idea; thought about it a bunch; wrote it down; thought about it some more; and then I would’ve thought about it some more; I may have even told myself I would eventually do it… but then it never would’ve happened.
It would’ve been yet another story idea that sat in my mind, collecting dust.
My procrastination was SO BAD when it came to my writing and creative projects that I’d always come up with great ideas, but I’d never actually execute them. (Maybe you can relate?)
Fast-forward 10 years and that is no longer what’s true for me. I am no longer a procrastinating writer OR a procrastinating creative. Today, my writing and creative work are my top priorities every single day.
I used to put nonsense like laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping and TV and all kinds of stuff before my writing, and so my writing never got done. But today, I put my writing first.
I wake up every morning, take my dog out for a walk, do my daily mindset practice, and then my first thought is–what’s the message for today? What do I need to write about? What does my community need to hear from me?
And then I grab my laptop, sit down in the big, red chair in my living room, and I put words on the freaking page. (And most of the time I also publish those words on my blog and/or Facebook page—and then share it around!).
My writing is not only a top priority at this point, but it’s also a habit and a daily commitment. To show up for myself. To share what’s on my mind. To do my soulwork.
This didn’t happen overnight. It was years of procrastinating and putting everything else before my writing and creative projects. It was years of struggle and self-doubt and fear. It was years of sticking with it, even when I felt Resistance (especially when I felt Resistance!).
And here I am today. Not only a productive writer and a productive creative BUT ALSO a professional writer and creative.
It is totally possible for you to get to this place in your own writing life, where you actually want to show up, want to sit down at the page, and want to put words on it. I’m not special in that way.
If I can overcome my procrastination, ANYONE can!
We’ve somehow been convinced over the course of our lives that our writing and creative work is a luxury, not a priority. It’s something you only get to do if you have the time or if you get everything else done first.
But that is total fucking bullshit.
The truth is, your writing and creative work is NOT a luxury. It’s NOT something you only get to do if you have time or if everything else gets done first.
Your writing and creative work is your RESPONSIBILITY.
It’s your SOULWORK.
It’s your FUEL.
It’s what YOU CAME HERE FOR.
So often I hear writers and creatives complain about being “too tired to do their writing” or “too stressed” or “[insert excuse here].” But what they don’t realize is, doing their writing and creative work on a daily basis will actually GIVE YOU energy. It will WAKE YOU UP. It will REFUEL YOU.
It will create a feeling inside you that nothing else in the entire world can ever create for you.
I finally figured that out. I finally fully accept that as truth.
Now I’m finally fully committed to being the productive, professional, put-it-out-there-and-start-on-the-next-thing writer and creative I always dreamed of being.
And it will only get better from here.
OH… and if you want to check out my very first microfilm, you can do that here.
Go easy on me; it was my first time 🙂
Dream life or bust,