By Bethany Davies
I have a task for you. Look back to a moment, or perhaps sit and look sad in the one you’re in, where you have felt stress over a deadline. Reflect on that feeling (or sit and feel sad with it) where you have more work to do than time to do it in. It’s a common predicament. A lot of us find ourselves in it most days. And yet, that irritating presence of worry still looms over us like the grizzly clouds of York in November.
Now, be sure not to get offended; don’t take it personally. But, you see, if you’re not a writer, this post really isn’t for you. Because these deadlines aren’t any old deadlines. They’re not the filing of the end of year paperwork; the re-stacking of Tesco’s shelves before 5pm; or the need to feed the cat, dog and hamster before a night out with friends. These are the kind of deadlines that demand creativity in a temporarily hollow mind that only sees one thing; a blank page. It’s a killer.
So, what’s the cure?
The first crucial step is to turn Netflix off. Completely off. Remove Facebook from your bookmarks bar and rid the room of people who only want to distract you and make sure you never ever (ever) succeed in life. Lock your phone in a bullet proof safe. Shut the door. Lock the windows. Glue your elbows to the table. With extra strong PVA.
There’s no doubt that you’ll have heard all of this before. So, let me tell you the secret ingredient. Motivation. You don’t need to want to do the work but you need to be motivated. This could be inspired by an anticipation of future greatness or simply the promise of a bowl of coco pops when the work is done.
Since we are all writers, unless some of you cheeky few stuck around, we are supposedly holding creative minds that function on inspiration. So, find out what inspires you. Take your creative flare and light it up in the city of York. You live in the city of history and architecture where minds were inspired to create beautiful pieces of art. Take a laptop or notepad and use the surroundings for inspiration. Climb out of bed and sit in one of York’s quirky independent coffee shops and read your set text for the week. Head off to Betty’s and sit amongst an array of tiny sandwiches and teapots classed as ‘cute’. Whatever works. Try it. Become motivated. And watch as that thick grey cloud looming over you is replaced by a carried sense of accomplishment and productivity.