A few weeks ago when I was deep into creation mode on a story for Interlochen Public Radio (IPR), my friend & book publisher, Ros Nelson at Little Big Bay Shop called me an obsessive creative... just because I woke at 4 am with a writing download. ha. I decided to take it as a compliment and continued to work (obsessively) on my IPR piece. The time, energy and anguish paid off.

Here are the artists featured in my story (obsessive creatives, no doubt). They were the stars of the art department at Traverse City Central High School 50 years ago. Now they’re getting back together for a multimedia exhibition at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort. Their journeys and reflections are inspiring. CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LISTEN. From left to right: Steve Kline, Nancy Adams Nash, Glenn Wolff. (Photo & story by Leslie Hamp)

The world needs more positive light...

This 5-minute audio story was a real challenge with three voices — each a story of its own — and more audio than I could ever use. It was a bit overwhelming, and I sometimes wondered where I was going with all that information.

But the truth is... the world needs positive light more than ever and producing their story is one way to shine my light on some good in the world. So I stayed the course when the going got tough.

How to get beyond the urge to quit...

What's your style when things are a challenge? Are you an obsessive creative, a stick-it-out til the end person, or one who moves on when things get tough? I've been thinking about that and want to share a few insights to turn an idea into reality. My process follows in italics.

  1. Stop telling yourself stories and identify the real reason for your procrastination so you can get into action. What if it's not good enough or where am I going with this... it's a common theme. In radio it's called "the German Forest" where you forget the proposed storyline because of all the audio recorded. I was lost a few times during these past 8 weeks of obsessive creation but had to stop reinforcing that story. That's how I made my way out of the German Forest.
  2. Reframe limiting attitudes. Identify what YOU want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish it instead of focusing on the “shoulds” or "can't" or agendas imposed by others. I had a vision for this story and that kept me focused and moving beyond limiting beliefs.
  3. Prioritize what needs to be done. When you have a clear plan of what needs to be done first, the total task doesn’t seem so daunting. I approached this project one step at a time from the idea to the pitch to interviews to storyline to script(s) to multitrack to editing to mixdown to airing.
  4. Include distractions and diversions. When you’re spinning your wheels, give yourself a break. Get distracted and diverted—for the fun of it. Rewarding yourself in this way can make the task easier to return to later. I regularly turned to my visual journal to write and collage and process next steps, and I got a lot of training in for my upcoming sprint triathlon as it was the best way to get out of my head and let go of all that audio and synthesizing and scripting and rescripting.
  5. Don’t make the task larger than life. Look at what the task is really asking of you in terms of time commitment, knowledge and skill. A more realistic appraisal of the task requirements can often take the edge off of it and help you get started. Hey, I have a lot of experience storytelling and I know how to meet deadlines, so I reminded myself of those strengths. And voila! Mission accomplished. Take a listen HERE.

That's it for now. Dash me an email with insights from the IPR story or getting beyond the urge to quit. And join the Create the Life You Crave Nation HERE. Like the page for quick access.

Until then, be YOU & Create the Life You Crave!

Leslie Hamp, Obsessive Creative
Forward Momentum Coaching LLC
[email protected]

I'm Leslie Hamp, a maker, storyteller and journaling guru who helps others create what matters most NOW. I discovered years ago the power of soulful exploration and journaling to gain clarity, confidence and courage to step into the new story that wants to emerge. I started sharing my process with others, and they experienced transformational results. That’s because we process in pictures, our brains love ink, and we need to see new possibilities before we step into them. Helping others discover their new story is what I’m all about.

Also good to know... I hold a Master of Arts in Mass Communication and am a Master Coach, Licensed Passion Project Facilitator, and Certified Journal to the Self Instructor. I'm also author of Create the Life You Crave and its companion Beautiful Journal and contributing author of Wide Awake Every Week and Love Stories of the Bay. I am always making things (jewelry, visual journals, audio stories, my own standup paddleboard) and love hiking, biking, and traveling with my husband Jim & pooch Sadie.

If you need a champion in your corner,
sign up for a course HERE, get the book HERE, join the Create the Life You Crave Nation HERE, and email me HERE.