Creative Procrastination is good for you

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The pain of creativity is something I spend countless hours mustering courage to fathom.
A friend of mine seldom speaks of his work kindly both during and post creation, he goes through an internal struggle to piece each part together and then when it all fits his eyes cringe to watch it.
I asked him why he does it, why after the seemingly tumultuous process he then bends to make more time to fulfil another idea that will no doubt put him through the paces of that familiar stress.
He laughs without an answer and we nod on the phone giggling at how stupid we must seem.
His work is always beautiful, whether it be comedic or sentimental, it's always beautiful.
I don't know if his modesty blocks his perception or if he truly doesn't see it- but he still seems compelled to return to it week in week out.

I understand it with great compassion both because I observe a huge chunk of my friends go through the same cycle constantly and because I find myself peddling in it too.
I've always said I love writing but I curse it more often than I praise it, lying on the sofa mid afternoon forcing myself to let my fingers tickle the keyboard uninspired and unsure.
I feel angry at writing, unsettled by language, furious that I can't sing or paint or film - which is silly as I'm sure I'd only feel the same frustration if I could.

It's this kind of angst that sometimes makes me feel untalented but what it should be telling me is that I've not yet earned the right to unlock it all yet.
I'm pulling out saplings that haven't had time to understand their purpose and instruction.

As unstable and as unreliable as a method could be, I've stopped forcing myself to make, which means for now it's not my living. That' s okay. It doesn't feel oaky, it feels lazy, but it is more than perfectly okay.

We are often foolish in that we let our obsession with creation, following the force of sizzling anxiety and adrenaline to put the intangible into a product, take over the bare materials we need to do it well: living. Taking stock and thinking. Reading, watching, crying, eating.
Our brains don't just stop because we're not wrist deep in paint or late night loomed in stanzas.
They're preparing for the next project.
They're recuperating, tidying tiny pieces into their boxes to make enough room to lay out the new ones.

Stop watching the blue line on an empty document dance, put the lens cap back on, let something real bother you.
Let the rain piss you off and Loose Women irritate you, let a boy make you dizzy and your mother feel warm.
Read a book you should've studied or a film you never quite understood.
Hell, go out until three in the morning until life throws something at you that makes you feel something mad.

You'll create when it's right, push yourself when you feel, but don't forget it's okay not to live it all the time.
Stop sprinting for the exhibition, you'll run straight past it. 


  1. i haven't written anything for four months. this was a much needed read, thank you.

    1. Keep fighting the good fight Hannah, you've got this! X

  2. You write well but I wish you'd read aloud your posts, because some sentences are so long that I wish I had a comma insertion machine or something.

    1. I really appreciate this, I struggle with my grammar so much that I forget to do important things like this. I will scream and shout for all to hear next time and hopefully hit the comma key a few more times. X

  3. On the verge of crying after this post because it is speaks the heartbreaking truth. I've been struggling with the same issue for the past year but couldn't see any positive side to it. Everything is beautiful in this post.

  4. I adored reading this post. I go through waves of inspiration, motivation and creativity when it comes to my work. At the moment I've just come out of a three month hiatus from creating any images apart from photos to share on Instagram. I felt guilty for not creating but I needed the break and I feel so much better about my work and processes now

  5. Speaking of procrastinating, how can a certain beauty guru who hasn't blogged a damn word since Decemeber of last year be up for a bloglovin' award!??? And yet you are more talented and dedicated to your blog but didn't make any category. Sickening.

  6. Hi Charly,

    Out of everything you've posted - this hit me hard. I'm an art student, head of creative content for a ministry I'm part of, and an artist in my own respect. I've spent a lot of my time making my art and destroying it. Crying till the daytime because of the stress I felt and continue to feel - even when i'm not in my studio courses. The thing that most of my friends don't understand are the difficulties of trying to create something - that a lot of comes from just you. Sometimes "You" is never enough. It's more than creating from inspiration and more than sitting down and getting something done. I've found less time to take care of myself pr to make something I truly love or even to find time to love.

    Sometimes I check back to your page because you understand or maybe its because I wish I had a friend who understood. Thanks for this. More than anything - thanks for that last line. I'll keep that in my pocket when I need it the most.

    - Kip (

  7. Thanks so much for writing this Charly, it was so relevant to where we am at right now (Jess actually wrote about it recently on out blog, though didn't express it as wonderfully as you) Your blog is such a special piece of internet and we find everything you write to be so relateable and strangely grounding- that sense of resolution and contentment that comes after a good talk with a friend.

    Thanks so much for doing what you do!

    Jess and Ruby xx

  8. Ah this is perfect and exactly what I needed to read. Thank you x

  9. The fact that you can create something out of the frustration of creation is beautiful. Bravo, dear Charly! And thank you for your words. It's nice to know we're not alone.

  10. Hi Charly! I listen to Filler Podcast and I came across your interview. Your story is truly inspirational as I myself am 16 years old and have a love for writing. I have a blog and have recently been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. I'd like to hand down the nomination to you. I love your blog so much! You write with such skill and authenticity. Please have a look at my blog where you will see more of the details of the nomination:

  11. I needed this, excellent post

  12. Hi Charlie, I love your posts and your blog has inspired my friend and I to start our own one. It would mean a lot if you could check it out. It's

  13. i love this a lot, i never stop telling people how much you inspire me as a writer (journalism student and writer).

    Thanks Charly

    shauna ( xxx

  14. I have to say it's rare that I come across a post that hits me hard or resonates so much to the point where it feels like I had written it, but my gosh, this piece is so beautifully articulated that I feel compelled to read it again and again. This is exactly what I needed, so thank you. And honestly, please keep writing, you have so much talent and potential and I'd hate to see it wasted. Hope you've had a wonderful day!

    Nabeela x


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