The practice of beginning without an idea does wonders to release creative pressure. And it is easier than it may seem. For example, you may start to write by taking notes on something you read, summarizing a book, or beginning a journal entry. You may begin to paint by working out the details in the process, clipping textures out of a magazine for a collage, or using a reference image.
One potential pitfall is to search the internet or Pinterest under the guise of looking for ideas. This practice almost always leads nowhere. Instead, do a quick Google search and pull the first image on page 3 as a reference. You could also open a random book from your shelf and blindly put your finger down on the page. Then, use the word or paragraph you found as a prompt.
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"Deadlines just aren't real to me until I'm staring one in the face." - Rick Riordan
All Things Take Time
Imagine trying to ring water out of a dry cloth. It would help if you were full before you can produce anything, and that takes advanced preparation, study, and resources.
If you burn yourself out on the first deadline, you might set yourself up to miss subsequent deadlines.
For example, you might make a goal to exercise for one hour every day. But if you find yourself only exercising once per week, then you would do better to scale back to 15 minutes a day to avoid burning out and missing your goal.
When things get stressful, it is common to cut corners. As a result, you may sacrifice quality, quantity, or worse, you may plagiarise someone else's work.
Everyone knows that stress is bad for your health. Your body tells you that it is unhealthy by the way you feel during the process.
Relying on deadlines for inspiration and productivity is unsustainable for the reasons listed above, and I can't imagine that you would want to make it a habit. So why not try to break away from it and create positive habits? Practices without as many negative impacts on you and the project?
If you are in a creative rut:
You Don't Need Deadlines to Boost Your Productivity:
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Hi, my name is Cory Shaw. I am an author and illustrator of books and book covers for children.
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