Well, here it is. After a decade and a half of pondering, perusing and – largely – procrastinating, I’m starting a blog.
I’m starting. That’s the key.
Getting going is never an easy thing for me. It’s not that I don’t want to do something fun and creative – quite the opposite; it’s just that I have so many darned ideas about fun, creative things I could be doing, that I often talk myself out of every one of them. I’m paranoid. I always suspect one of the other things might be the thing I’m supposed to be doing, not this thing. I also suspect aliens live among us, but that’s not really relevant here.
It’s a problem a lot of creative people face (the indecision, not the aliens. At least not yet…) Our brains are always hatching schemes and plans for creative escapades. The pattern will be familiar to most of you. You have the initial idea and it’s the best thing since gluten-free bread. This novel / song / artwork / blog / business idea / app / monkey-themed woodcarving is going to be your most amazing creation yet. You’re going to commit all your spare time to this golden idea, at the expense of all your other ideas, which are now clearly second-rate and no longer a priority.
You’ll likely start making some plans – maybe marking off the hours in your busy calendar that will be devoted to bringing your new, shiny idea to life. Heck, you might even start. Or, at least, start starting. But then a week or two passes by and you realize, you never really got going. The Most Exciting Idea In The WorldTM has lost its lustre. You’ve had new, shinier ideas since that one. A hundred of them. And it seems like a lot of work, which you’d be fine with, but in order to put in all those hours, you just want to be sure it’s the right thing. I mean, what if this isn’t The One? What if one of the other ideas is a better way to spend your limited spare time? What if the other thing is the one that will bring you glorious success, and this thing is just a waste of time?
What inevitably ends up happening is that you start nothing. The excitement wanes and the idea falls by the wayside, tucked away in some folder on your desktop, consigned to the idea graveyard with all those other once-loved-but-long-forgotten seedlings. Then the guilt and self-loathing sets in. Why can I never get anything going? Why does everyone else seem to be able to do this with ease? What’s wrong with me?!
Well, nothing is wrong with you. In this age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone else is doing a better job or is more capable than you, but you must remember that Facebook and Instagram are just the highlights reel. People aren’t as quick to show you their dropped balls, missed shots, and plain old bad days at the office as they are their successes, and everyone looks good in a highlight reel. (But that’s for another post.)
What we’re talking about is getting going. Finishing is really important, but that’s for another post, too. (Huh, see how just by getting going, I’m already gaining momentum? That’s because action begets action.)
In this blog, I intend to talk about the many, many, (many!) pitfalls that I’ve fallen foul of as a person making a living and lifestyle out of being creative, in the hopes that my experiences will help others like me in their own ‘creative lives’. I intend to lay it all out there, warts ‘n’ all (and I’ve been through some pretty interesting stuff) because I think reading about another creative person’s endeavours, challenges, and lessons learned can help. I’ve also spent a lot of time over the years reading a lot of books and investigating various practices to help keep my anxiety down, my motivation up, and my focus where it should be. I’m still working on this stuff – believe me – but I also think the sharing will help me along, too.
The takeaway from this inaugural post, then, is this:
Expectations kill productivity.
Indecision kills productivity.
Lack of focus kills productivity.
Nothing ever got done that never got going.
Action is powerful.
So, I’m getting going. As for finishing, well, that’s just something I’ll have to wor…