Issue #018 | July 26, 2020  


This week: being driven to distraction, making passive income from your art, sticking to self-imposed deadlines, do you need Iceland?

Cute Doggies and Bad Movies

It was just one of those days.

I'm guessing you get them too.

Those days when something seems off.

You wake up feeling tense. You don't want to work on your art today. Not while you're in this mood. 

You force yourself to do it anyway. But that 'off' feeling, well it's still there. And now you're in front of your computer, feeling restless as hell. 

You don't want to create. Not today.

Yep. I was having one of THOSE days.

I could have sacked off the rest of the day to binge on YouTube. And for a few minutes, I gave into that desire.

A few minutes... bahaha!

Who was I kidding. You see, YouTube is like crack for the overwhelmed, the self doubting and the procrastinating. 

I was claiming all three of those titles that day.

When your head gets turned by a "let's see what's on YouTube" moment, all I can say is: brace yourself.

I lost 2.5 hours of my life to YouTube.

It started with cute doggie-does-funny-shit videos.

It escalated to a 90s B movie about a snatched toddler who finds his mother 16 years later. But the son has issues...

Son tries to kill mum. Fails. Mum kills son instead. 

Plot twist: *speaks in a hushed voice* he was never really her son 😲

Oooh, it was bad. Still, I continued to watch anyway (I'd send you the link just for laughs, but I don't want to expose you to that mess).

So here I am. Scrolling through the comments section on YouTube (because that's where the real entertainment's at), with the B movie still playing in the background. 

And I'm asking myself: "How the hell did I get here?"

I'll tell you how.

I was looking for a way to soothe my discomfort of feeling overwhelmed. 

And in that moment, YouTube was my coping strategy of choice. I don't blame YouTube for hijacking my brain for a couple of hours. It was my release.

I'm telling you this because it's so easy to feel guilty for allowing distractions to steal your attention. But the distraction is a call to re-route to a different direction, one that'll serve you better.

After reflecting on my mini YouTube meltdown, I managed to get myself back on track by picking just one thing to work on. Turns out I'd packed so many to-dos into my day, it was making my head spin, flip and pop.

Distraction leaves clues 

If you're doing everything but the thing you need to be doing, stop for a moment. Ask yourself "how did I get here?"

Then identify what you need to re-focus your attention.

As always, I'm curious. Tell me what coping strategy you default to when you feel overwhelmed? 

Go right ahead. I'm listening👂🏾

Mena x

The Picks: Advice, Tips & Tools

🔥 Feel the fear and publish that blog post (or book) anyway

"The fear of writing, publishing, and promoting content happens to all content creators. Novices, authors, and seasoned technical writers alike experience some form of nervousness (or fear) when faced with sharing their content widely."

  • The bad news: fear never goes away. The good news: you have full control over how you manage it.
  • Stephanie Morillo reminds us of the consequences of giving into fear, along with tips for dealing with it. She suggests scheduling articles in advance, tapping into your enthusiasm, and keeping your eye on the data. Among other tips → How to Manage Your Fear of Writing and Publishing Content (Stephanie Morillo)

🔥 How to make passive income with your art

  • All creatives deserve to have at least one form of passive or reoccurring income stream. There's this amazing buzz you get when you design a product, and that one single item sells over and over again. And although, passive income isn't truly passive (as in, it still requires work), it does free you from trading your time for money (as is the case with client work). Just think; making money in your sleep AND creating extra time to do more of what you love. That's a big win-win in my eyes.
  • This article covers six ways creatives can turn their art into a second or third income stream. Including: art licensing, online teaching, and one of my personal faves - print on demand product creation → Six Ways Artists Can Create Passive Income (Artwork Archive)

🔥 Why we procrastinate and how to overcome it

  • There are those times when a little procrastination is good for your creativity. And then there are those times when you need to stop. Put down the laundry. Leave the stack of dishes. Get back to that project you were meant to start 30 minutes ago. 
  • This article offers a scientific explanation behind our tendency to procrastinate. You'll find eight tips that'll help you manage this annoying habit, including; a strategy for re-framing your tasks, and advice on self forgiveness → Overcome Procrastination (Doist)

🔥 How to stick to self-imposed deadlines

  • Isn't it funny how we can (mostly) stick to the time constraints set by other people? Yet, when it comes to managing our own deadlines, we struggle to stay on track. We give in to the voices in our head that say: "you'll never get this done by then..."
  • Learn how to recognise and stop the insanity of blowing off your own deadlines → Getting it Done (Finish Agent)

Just for Fun!

Ever feel so frustrated that you want to scream into a vast vacuous space?

Looks Like You Need Iceland