Creativity and procrastination

Many creative people get frustrated with themselves for being unable to complete their work of art within a particular time frame.

I strongly believe procrastination is part of creativity process.

I get so many inspiration posts in my social media that seems to suggest procrastination is bad and is the root cause of failures – that people fail because they procrastinate.

This is not true.

Most people do not understand the difference between a routine task and a creative product.

While a routine task like brushing teeth is something you do everyday and you know how long it takes and that it is a necessary routine, it is understandable that anyone who avoids brushing teeth is plain lazy.

Creative products are imagination translated into a tangible product. Though human brain is the most powerful creation of God after the Universe and human brain’s potential is unlimited – we do not have a mechanism where imagination can be translated into a creative product without going through a process and that takes some time. How much time ? – depends on what you are creating.

For everyone’s benefit, let me clarify what do I mean by creative work.

Work such as writing, movie scripting, painting, photography, movie direction, music creation etc.

Most creative product starts with an idea and evolves inside our head. There are many ideas that get rejected inside our head. Some ideas evolve every day, gets better and better and then the process of creation begins.

So a movie like Titanic, probably started with an idea about a real incident. Characters were added later on to make the final product a pleasant viewing experience for the audience that will keep them engaged for over 3 hours.

Writing is no different. Thoughts inside our brain that took birth yesterday takes shape over a period of time. The final product like a blog post or a book or a painting will take whatever time it has to take until the creator is satisfied and the final product looks like how s/he imagined.

Creative work cannot be built under deadlines. That is not how our brain works. You only get a sub-standard product if you rush into things.

So, for all creative people who often get pressurized by people as to why they could not complete a blog post or a music piece or a painting or a photograph within a specific time period must tell their impatient critic to ‘Shut Up’ and let their brain take its own time and do it’s job in peace. 🙂

This blog post itself was meant to be written last week, evolved inside my head over time and only will get better in the next few days.

I did not procrastinate.



22 thoughts on “Creativity and procrastination

  1. I just gave up the idea of writing posts as per the demand of Challenges, because then I couldn’t understand how can I come up with those idea within the time-frame given. There were times when I wrote multiple posts within a day and there are few posts still in my drafts to be polished before final release.

    You bring up a very good point and whoever is involved into being creative about the work they do, will understand what you are talking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…Never give up on thoughts. I am struggling every day. Have 30 long posts to write and it’s evolving inside my head. Pressuring myself also doesn’t work.. Let the brain take it’s time.

      You keep writing, Bhanu – even if it is draft.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent points, Sudhir. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many of the best works of literature took many years to complete. The Lord of the Rings series, perhaps the most widely loved fiction series in existence, took J. R. R. Tolkien nearly a lifetime to finish. He started creating the world of Middle Earth as a youth with his friends, and didn’t release the beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy until many years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Things take time, you are right and every thing gets better day by day . Very well explained . Things happens its only one has to work hard without loosing patience 🙂 all the best for your project

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The variables are not well defined for creativity. Hence it becomes difficult to contain the timeline or the extent of time spent on it. You are spot on about taking time to produce beautiful pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I certainly do agree with your thoughts on this! Creativity is not something you can access on demand. Ideas just poof up when they do and very often the best ideas take time. If someones pressurising you to complete a creative project too soon, they shouldn’t expect A1 quality. Simple as that.

    Liked by 1 person

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