Creative Focus

This is part of my Creative Blocks series

Read the first: Get it done methodology

Second: Creative planning

Third: dealing with the action pile

OK, so now we are free to deal with your creative focus, all the day to day crap that is cluttering up your mind and screaming at you everytime you sat down to do it has been dealt with, it is safe and secure in your system.

What is it that you want to do? What do you want to achieve? How can you make that practical?

Let’s say that you want to make an income through your music, primarily through music scores which are then used in films.

Wow, massive. You certainly can’t write that down and tick it off your to-do list in one go can you?

Break it down. What do you need for that to happen? What can you do on a regular basis to contribute towards that goal? I would suggest:

time playing your instrument/s is a good place to start, even if it is just jamming on your own.
listening to music
reading trade magazines
capturing ideas
writing your own ‘brief’ and creating to that, so you build a portfolio of this type of music

Right, now can you quantify that?

x time playing instruments a day
buying x number of new albums a month
listening to music for x time
spend an hour a week reading trade magazines (online and real)
x time a day composing.

It’s really easy to get sucked into the consumption aspect, rather than creation – listening and reading. Whereas, of course, what is going to make a real difference is getting on and doing the work. That of course, is the hard bit.

If you give yourself a quantitive target you are able to put it on your daily to-do and tick it off. Depending on your goal is may be quantity rather than time. I am currently doing two different creative projects first thing in the morning for just twenty minutes every day. My morning times are the best for me to work. That’s when my brain is firing on all cylinders. I may do more, but that is the minimum that I do each day.

What is important of course is we are absoultely talking about quantity over quality. Turning up every single day and doing the work.

Daily practice at anything is better than a splurge of time when you have the perfect set of circumstances, because of course there isn’t a perfect set of circumstances. You are more likely to create something aweseom when you have a regular practice that you show up to day after day.

How are you going to monitor and motivate yourself? When is it tricky for you not to turn up and do this stuff? Figure out your blocks and ways to get around them too.

Want some help? Well, read Getting things done (affiliate). Or, you can get some one to one time with me via Skype. We will figure out what your blocks are, how to build a plan and generally get going with getting your creative project or business underway, or working to your best ways. Find out more. 


  1. I am a person who wants to achieve goals to, so that I can be proud of myself. I, for sure; want to accomplish my goal by receiving a Master’s degree in Classical Studies. This is my dream. However, when I write my assignments, I do not want to write things down too quickly. I tend to prefer to write in the afternoons than in the morning. I go for walks every morning, because it helps me think better what I am going to write. Jen, who can help me achieve my goal in obtaining a Master’s degree in Classical Studies? I keep all my old reports cards and my graduate certificates from elementary, intermediate, high school, and the one for my Bachelor degree in Classics at the University of Ottawa and my Cooking and Baking certificates from Algonquin College in Canada, because it gives me fond memories what I have achieved in the past. Do you have students from the OU achieve their goals in their Masters’ degrees?

  2. It sounds like you are doing everything right Silvia, you are doing the work regularly, looking after yourself and taking all the right steps.

    I am sure you will get your Masters!

  3. I hope that I do get my Master’s degree. It is not easy work. The ETML has emailed me telling that my tutor marked my TMA03, but I am nervous about collecting it because I am afraid of failing it. I did ask my tutor for help, but he cannot give me the answers to the questions. I got a Pass 3 in my TMA01 and a Pass 4 in my TMA02. I hope that I did not fail TMA03. I have chicken skin right now. Did you ever get nervous, when you were told that your TMAs were corrected and you were nervous about collecting and checking it? I have that problem right now. I do not want to fail. I want to pass, so that I can continue with module A864 which is the MA in Classical Studies Part 2.

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