As we get older, I'd like to think we get better at saying no. The no's that exist in life... No, I won't drive 4 hours out of my way for you. No, I won't do this ridiculous task at the very last minute because you weren't organised. No, I won't go on your super expensive hen's party weekend. I feel like I learned this from Oprah in my teens, but my memory is fuzzy.
I'm now learning the power of no with my own creative projects. No, sit down and work now. No, don't start that project until you finish this one. No, you can't watch the Kardashians you have to write. I have to create boundaries for myself and stick to them if I am ever going to be successful at making the things I want to make.
While saying no all the time could create a negative brain space, it is easy to switch the focus to what the no will give you. Ask yourself by saying no what will I achieve? The answer to that is hopefully so grand that the next question won't scare you:
what are you willing to give up in order to have
what you really really want?
Writer Elizabeth Gilbert talks about asking this question in this interview. She likens it to being her own bodyguard and as creative people that's what we need to be. Defending your work process from yourself and the world isn't so much about the negative, nagging no but about honouring your gifts and talents. If you don't create boundaries you simply won't get any creative work done.
Have a great (creative) weekend.
First image by unknown. Second image by Josh Olins in Dazed & Confused 2008.