- Sunday, 21 October 2018

Harnessing Momentum in Your Creative Projects

sneak peak: a simple tactic for how to keep your motivation up and harness momentum in your personal creative projects

Harnessing Momentum in Your Creative Projects, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk
Since you are reading this post, it is unlikely to have escaped you that I am currently on a self-imposed mission to publish 21 blog posts in 30 days (and this is post 17, so it's going well! (and if it has, now you know)). Now, this is no mean feat, and has required a fair amount of willpower, time-management and motivation.

I have a strategy for harnessing momentum in my creative projects, whether that's publishing blog posts, making DIYs, writing songs, whatever, and it is probably one of the best things I have ever done. Someone told me recently that this is an actual Thing done by writers, which made me feel very proud of myself indeed (being a writer is the everlasting dream). However, a quick Google has thrown up nothing relevant bar this excellent article of writing advice from writers, that made me snort with laughter in Caffe Nero, oops.

Also, why only creative projects? Simple: technical, non-creative projects (or less creative, because is anything ever really non-creative?) lend themselves to logical planning. You can create a timeline or a step-by-step projection and it makes sense. Creative endeavours usually aren't so plannable, so require the ball to keep rolling once you've started it, in order to be continued and eventually completed.

All of that is to say, this approach does the trick for me and it will probably do so for you too, so here you go. So, how does it work?

In a nutshell, you stop in the middle. Does that make sense? No, good, it wasn't designed to because the goal is to make you read on. And since you're reading these words, it worked! Now let's expand a little.

The strategy is this: when you do a chunk of work on whatever your creative project might be, you don't stop at a natural end point - you stop somewhere that is easy to pick up from.

To explain this a bit further, have some context: for writers, it means that instead of stopping your work for the day at the end of a chapter, you stop half way through. For photographers, it means that instead of stopping once you've completely edited a photo, you stop when you're part way through editing the next one. For me, it means that instead of closing my laptop once I've published a blog post, I start the next one - either by writing half of it, the first paragraph, the sneak peak or just the title.

The idea is that this results in two things:
1. If you're already through the gate, you've done the hardest bit and picking up is much easier. Think of it as climbing a flight of stairs - each blog post I write is 20 flights of stairs. It's much easier to start from the third storey, when I've already got started. Likewise, you can think of it as a warm-up to a workout - if you have the whole thing stretching out in front of you, you might not bother starting, but if you've already got into your gym gear and done the warm-up, you may as well do the workout.

2. You'll want to continue. If you write the first paragraph of a chapter with a really exciting plan, you'll want to continue and do the rest. If you have a title down for a blog post that you're just itching to share, it will be easy - you'll want to keep going, so won't even need any motivation to get you started.

Now you're equipped with this life-altering knowledge, go forth and create. I'm going to finish off this post, then write titles for some more, and only then will I take a break for lunch and a sunshiney London explore.

- post #17 of 21 in the 21-day challenge

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