“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.”
Many times, starting any endeavor is hard. It is common in our everyday lives. Whether it be starting a new career, relocating to a new neighborhood or creating a new piece of artwork.
The difficulty to start can get you stuck in the initial or exploratory stages of your ideas/projects/tasks. In fact, most often, it is exactly what gets us stuck.
Focusing on The Wrong Things
The problem is that we focus on size instead of process.
We focus on how big and daunting or complicated what we want to create is. However, truth be told, everything we create (no matter its size – big or small), goes through a process which starts somewhere.
I was having a hard time starting a new project recently. The agonizing part of it all was, I knew that if only I could just get started, I’ll find in the process, the inspiration, and energy to keep me going. Eventually, when I stopped focusing on the size and complexity of what I wanted to create, I was able to take the first steps to help me build something big.
My first step was putting three pieces of fabric together on my design wall. Three small pieces of fabric and that was it. If you walked into my studio you’d have thought this “blob of fabric” was no big deal. But it was a big deal to me because it was my “start”. The start that I needed. And when it comes down to it, that’s all we need – a start. Not a big start, a small start, a great start nor anything else – just a start.
You Don’t Need to Have it All Worked Out
The beautiful thing is that we don’t have to have every step worked out. All we need is to start to build something big. During the process, we build on the start, and then build on what we just built and before we know it, we’re caught up in creating. So caught up in creating that, we lose sight of the scary fact that we’re trying to build something big, something complex. Because all we’re actually doing is just building on our start.
And your start – whatever it is – is totally yours.
A start is always manageable, the right size and of the right skill set for you.
It is no longer so scary. Indeed, it becomes harder to get you to stop when you’ve got a start on creating something. I constantly hear my piece calling me to come play and I do hate to leave it to go do other things.
The physicist, Isaac Newton, developed an entire theory based on a similar phenomenon, called “Newton’s First Law of Motion” and I’ll paraphrase it like this. Starting is hard but when you get started, it’s just as hard to get you to stop. So build something big. All you need is to get a start, overcome the inertia.
When you get a start, you’ve got something to build on.
I got a start and you can too.
Janis Doucette says
So true, Clara! And remember, that’s not cast in cement either. You can change that at some point in the process if you’re not happy with it. It’s getting past the initial paralysis of the blank canvas that counts!
You’re right Janis. I don’t know if these building blocks will remain in the piece by the time it’s completed. It may be that their only purpose was to get me started.