#19 Commit

My creative process has four distinct emotional stages:

1. Mind numbing dread and emptiness because I have no inspiration. None. None at all.

2. Excitement and glee as the germ of an idea appears and then sprouts.

3. Crushing dispair as I realise the idea I have invested so much time and energy in is actually impossible.

and 4. An ecstasy of relief when I realise I’m going to make it after all.

The most important step is from 2 to 3, because at 3 it always seems so easy to give up. The reason I very rarely do is because I have usually committed in some way that means I can’t. Most often, it’s that I have told people I will deliver an item on a certain date such that not giving it to them is unthinkable. So I power through the anguish in order to give them something, anything, even if it’s rubbish – which it occasionally is – but usually what happens is that I turn some crucial corner and realise it’s all going to be ok and all I have to do is keep going. And then it’s easy, the stress evaporates, the world around me recedes and I’m lost to the task until I can stand up, stiff-backed and desperate for a cuppa and a pee* and say “Yes. That’s it. It is done.”

So commit early, because if you don’t it’s too easy to give up when the going gets tough, and then you never make it to 4, and 4 is where the reward is.

*not in that order

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