How to Stop Procrastinating. (Pt 2)

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If you missed part one, find it here: Why We Procrastinate (Pt 1)

1. Give Yourself Permission.

When we’re putting things off, often it’s because our conscious and unconscious are in a tug-of-war.  Our conscious is curious, creative, spontaneous, adventurous.  It’s the part of us that is not just living, but alive.  The impulses from our conscious can seem crazy to us at times.  Two months ago, I was hiking through the South of France with my friend, Sarah, and had the sudden desire to take off my boots and feel the ground under my feet.  My unconscious’ initial response was – are you crazy? You could step on something sharp!  Kids go barefoot, not adults.  Where is this even coming from?  

Continue reading “How to Stop Procrastinating. (Pt 2)”

Why We Procrastinate. (Pt 1)

MAKES (1)We’ve all been there before – when facing a looming deadline for a research paper or work presentation – we somehow find ourselves binge-watching episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix or re-alphabetizing our book shelves.  We have every intention of doing the thing…eventually.  We even set arbitrary deadlines for ourselves: I’ll do it at 11 o’clock.  And when 11 o’clock comes and goes and we still haven’t done the thing, we move the finish line.  I’ll start tomorrow.  I’ll start Monday.  I’ll start the first of May.  I’ll start in the New Year.  In the meantime, we stew in anxiety, guilt and self-hatred.  Why can’t I do the thing?  What’s wrong with me?  Will I ever do the thing?  Can I even do the thing? Continue reading “Why We Procrastinate. (Pt 1)”

SELL OUT: Does Art Suffer from Success?

Sell out - Leighhecking.comWhen I was sixteen, I was a fan of a one-man-band, Dashboard Confessional.  My friends and I traveled miles to tiny clubs all up and down the east coast, stood shivering outside in line in winter in bad neighborhoods, got our ribs bruised up against the partition in mosh pit, covered our backpacks and messenger bags in band pins from Hot Topic, went thirsty or hungry or without sleep – all to hear the soul-bearing lyrics of someone we considered to be a modern day poet. Continue reading “SELL OUT: Does Art Suffer from Success?”

How to Write Anywhere in the World.

How to Write Anywhere in the World - Leighhecking.com-min

As someone who travels frequently, I find that a change of scenery can inspire and inform your writing, but often doesn’t make for the best work habits. Whether you’re trying to take in museums on holiday or traveling on business, the following tips will help you to get your work done anywhere in the world.

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It’s Never Too Late: 10 Writers & Artists That Were Late Bloomers

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In a world where it’s all about the next, young innovative person to come along, it’s easy to feel like we have passed our expiration date as writers or artists.  But does creativity have an expiration date?  Is there such a thing as “too late” when it comes to creating?

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How to Live and Teach Abroad.

How to Live and Teach Abroad

A lot of my friends and acquaintances who keep up with my Instagram posts are really curious.  You go to all these cool places.  How do you do it?  No, I’m not secretly rich.  No, I don’t have a job as an International Spy of Mystery (although if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.) The short answer is: I teach.

Continue reading “How to Live and Teach Abroad.”

5 Ways Perfectionism is Keeping you from Living your Creative Life.

5 WAYS PERFECTIONISM IS KEEPING YOU FROM LIVING YOUR CREATIVE LIFE.-minWe’ve been taught to think that perfectionism is a good trait.  No one ever goes into a job interview promising to do less-than-perfect work.  In fact, potential job candidates are often coached to answer interview questions about their greatest weakness as, “I’m a perfectionist in everything I do.”  But is perfect attainable?  Or even desirable? Or is perfect holding us back?  Is our mental image of that “perfect” thing keeping us from doing anything at all?
Continue reading “5 Ways Perfectionism is Keeping you from Living your Creative Life.”

How is Asking for Help a Sign of Strength?

HOW IS ASKING FOR HELP A SIGN OF STRENGTH_-min

I consider myself fairly tech-savvy, but when I was setting up my website, I had no idea how to set my blog as the main content of the site.  I spent about an hour fiddling around in my settings, growing increasingly frustrated, but determined to do it on my own.  Then my friend John, who had a WordPress  account of his own, sat down and did what I hadn’t accomplished in an hour in about two minutes.  Could I have saved myself some frustration and used my talents in a more productive way?  Of course.  So what was stopping me from asking for help?

Well, what stops anyone?

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What’s stopping you from going on a Writer’s Retreat?

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A few months ago, the idea of an “Artist and Writer’s retreat” wasn’t remotely on my radar.  I was about to finish a one-year teaching contract in Korea and was looking for my next job.  Would I stay in Korea, go back to Japan,  return to the States or go somewhere completely new?  The possibilities stretched out before me, but none of them felt right.  Something in me resisted the idea of entering a classroom again.  I loved teaching and my kids, but I needed a break.  Not a vacation, crammed with sight-seeing.  My soul was crying for a return to itself.

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You Have the Right to Happiness.

Anyone who’s familiar with the United States Declaration of Independence is probably familiar with the following passage:  All men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.

(Let’s just leave the part about being “created equal” alone for the moment – because we all know that’s a load of bollocks, right?  We may have been created equal, but America has never been a country that has treated people of different genders, races, ethnicities and faith-backgrounds equally.)

Today, I want to to talk about happiness!

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The Pursuit of Happyness

Continue reading “You Have the Right to Happiness.”