Procrastination, Depression and Creativity
A podcast and book for anyone struggling with procrastination
Posted Jan 19, 2017
I've been depressed and not writing. So, it was a little ironic when I did an interview with Danny Whittaker of My Own Worst Enemy (MOWE) podcast in mid-December. Danny draws on the expertise of clinical psychologists, physicians, psychiatrists and researchers in his new podcast, and he has already taken on a variety of challenging and interesting topics that I think will interest PT readers such as:
Psychosis, Susceptibility and Early Intervention
Feeling Good With CBT
OCD: The Serious Issue of a Ridiculed Illness
Schizophrenia: A Journey Inside the Shattered Mind
Social Anxiety Disorder: The Illness of Missed Opportunities
We had a good chat. However, the irony of discussing depression and procrastination at a time when I was quite depressed wasn't lost on me. Perhaps it was the perfect time to discuss the topic.
Today, when Danny emailed from "across the pond" as they say to tell me that the podcast was up and that it had already attracted a lot of interest in his local support group, we got into a brief exchange where he recommended a "must read" book.
He offered the suggested read when I told him that I haven't been writing. He assumed I was blocked, I guess, but that wasn't the case. I hadn't stopped writing because I couldn't write, I just chose to give myself some time off while I dealt with the death of my father. The depression was to be expected, and some self-compassion was necessary.
In any case, Danny made a perfect suggestion, I think, as I've read the book before, but I sure needed to think through it again. And, to his credit, both his podcast and listening to the book again as an Audible "read" while driving to the university has prompted me to write. Win-Win.
Ok, I said this would be a brief post, so the book is by Steven Pressfield the renowned author. It's not social science, and he even discusses how writing a nonfiction "advice-type book" like this initially fueled his resistance to write at all. Resistance is his focus, and it's really a good read. For those of us who procrastinate and for whom procrastination undermines creativity (read: All of us!), you will cringe as you read and you will learn important things.
I don't agree with everything Pressfield has to say, but that doesn't matter. I even recommend you fuel your own procrastination today by becoming acquainted with Danny's My Own Worst Enemy podcast and Pressfield's wonderful book The War of Art. It might be one of the few times that procrastination will pay off.
Pressfield, S. (2012). The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (16th edition). New York: Black Irish Entertainment.
Pressfield, S. (2012). The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Audible version.