The balance between inspiration and habit
As I progress as a writer and content creator, I am discovering that while showing up and just ‘doing’ is intrinsically valuable to defining ones output, there are some thoughts and realisations which can only come from subconscious percolation and ignoring the idea. There’s a balance to be found between waiting for inspiration to strike and showing up every day to push the habit of whatever-it-is-you-are-doing forward.
Knowing how to act on the ‘lightbulb moment’ is something for which you must train yourself. The act of showing up, forming habits, allows you to capitalise on the real magic when it happens; you're never fully 'off'. I am certain there are myriad products and books that were never made because of a cold, standing start. You need to be equipped to go when it is go time.
I’ve talked before about showing up and self-care. Arriving at the same time every day and 'just getting on with it'. Hustlers and the 'success mindset set' will tell you that you should put in that maximum effort instead of watching a Netflix or engaging in something else diversionary. But we are only human. It’s hard to remember not to beat yourself up when lightening strikes and you’ve been a little out-of-the-habit.
Sometimes - when you are out of the habit of showing up - it might just be that your mind is full. You have reached capacity for the stuff you can fairly contend with before you feel burnout coming. Do you really need to take on that extra project that’ll eat up all your free time ‘just to get ahead’? Do you need to start your new habit today when you already know your focus is fractured?
It takes a lot of ‘knowing yourself’ and being in tune with your rhythms to know when you've reached that point and what to do with it so you don’t fall into a spiral of negative thoughts. Be kind to yourself - try to spot the patterns in your thinking and find the right point to get started. Set a target but give yourself time to clear house before trying to get any more guests around the table.
When you've the mental space to engage in showing up for 'the new thing' or just restarting the old thing, you'll know. You'll have the time and space to show up and the capacity to give yourself the space to let an idea sit, grow, and blossom into the next great novel.