To pass from casual creative to productive creative, commitment is required. Commitment that sometimes is hard to muster, painful to carry out, and the last thing you can handle at the moment. Commitment to work, to practice, to make your creativity a big part of your life, commitment to springing back after criticisms and hard times. The list of possible uses is long.

So is the list of reasons not to grab a hold of your calling/interests/strengths/offerings and create something. Pick one, pick a bunch.

Reasons, Reasons, Reasons

– Not guaranteed results. I must be guaranteed very good or great results if I am to be expected to throw myself into something.

– I can’t stand “failure” or to be seen as not following through. My self-esteem is on the line.

– I can’t live being so exposed to judgement and criticism – Worried about hurting self esteem

– I have no idea where to start. Without a set road map, forget it. Since I hate disorder, confusion, ambiguity, I don’t even want to start

– My regular life overwhelms so much, why take on something else?

– I’ll get to it sometime later. I’ve got plenty of time and my vision of the future is pretty clear, the future is the best time for this.

– To do my project requires all sorts of training, etc. and I can’t/don’t want to start that.

– In all probability, my work will not be considered “great” by others in my field. If I can’t be seen as great, so forget it.

– My friends/family/peers will make fun of me for working on such a project.

– I’ve “failed” in the past so I will fail in the future.

– I have low frustration tolerance.

– No one around me has done something like this. It has always been someone in the distance (someone on the news; someone in a magazine; someone in the past, etc.). I know they did something I want to do but it all seems so distant, so hazy.

– I couldn’t stand being boxed in by commitment.

– I’m not sure what commitment means in this case but I’m sure it means more pain (discipline, schedules, concentration, etc) than pleasure.

– Truly, I’m happy with just envisioning my project, I don’t want or need to actually do it.

– I have no target project in mind.

– Part of me will demand that my work will be perfect and another part doubts if it ever could be perfect. Too much inner conflict to handle.

– I can’t make up my mind which project I want to do first.

– I don’t want to give up anything I already have and a new project would rock the boat.

– There isn’t enough time in the day. There isn’t enough space in my house. There isn’t enough money in my bank account.

– To be an artist, one must constantly or regularly inspired and I know I can’t be inspired 24/7. I’m just a regular person.

– I find some aspect of my creative field intimidating so I will stay away from the entire field or hold way back.

– I must know every move I will be required to make. I don’t know all the future moves so no use starting.

– Getting through schooling and getting a job is the way to do things. Since I was never shown how to go much beyond that, it would be strange to try to do something in addition to the norm.

– People look pretty happy with the norm (see above) so that is the gold standard. Things are going pretty well so why take on anything else?

– People will dislike me if I stand out (“The tall poppy is the first one cut.”)

– I’m afraid I might start and then find out it wasn’t what I wanted to do so I would have wasted time and money.

– The only benefit for doing something is the end product, the process is not important. While I would love to have the end product, I think the process would stink, not be exciting, be painful, etc. so why even start?

– I know myself, once I start hitting some obstacles I get depressed.

– My gut tells me that this is a big job and one person can’t do it all alone. My head never realizes that I don’t have to do everything myself. Unique partnerships, hiring of help, etc. could make my goal much more reachable. Oh well, never got that figured out. Move on.

– I’ll spend a week on something but there is no way that I will work on a project for 30 days, 90 days, a year, etc.

One thought on “Bunches of Reasons Not To Commit to Anything

  1. I think you’ve laid it out truthfully here. I know in the past I’ve constantly interrupted my own long-term, (commitment-needed) projects to write short little things because I’ve needed the quick fix of attention.I think there are times when a break from a big writing commitment is justified, is not procrastination–as when a special short project comes up or because it is necessary to stay “out there” or make money quickly, but when one doesn’t return to one’s big project after the short term break then the previously hidden agenda of insecurity and fear becomes obvious. I am finding the more times I return to my long-term project (a novel) after breaks, and the more consistently I over-ride my fears, the more confident and committed (and pleasurably inside my own work) I become. At some point there’s no turning back regardless of all the failures or rejections potentially looming! So commitment is a habit just as much as is procrastination, I guess. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

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