Before the Creative Process
The Starting Point
This whole month has been about not waiting.
We’ve delved into Doing It Before You Are Ready, The Real Truth About Waiting, The Waiting List — and now we’re getting to the Starting Point!
By now we’ve learned why doing it before we feel ready is the only way to go. We’ve learned why waiting doesn’t work. We’ve gotten down to the nitty-gritty of putting in writing what we’ve been waiting on and just how long we’ve been waiting (can you say wake-up call?!).
Recognizing the things we’ve been shelving for months, years and decades is an eye-opener. We can’t undo the lost time. We can, however, choose differently for today and going forward. And the great news is this—it’s not as daunting of a task as we may have feared.
Everything needs a starting point. One single step taken on something that has long been on our waiting list. That’s all that is required. It levels down on dreams that feel big.
One single step.
And here’s the deal, that first step taken provides the answer to the next step needed. And so we make our move—and progress is seen, and more importantly, it is felt. Something that might have seemed initially too arduous, too expensive, too impossible, now begins to feel doable.
It comes off the ‘someday’ list and shows up on the ‘this is happening now’ list.
In Keep Going, an inspiring book by Austin Kleon, he tells the story of David Shrigley and drawing. As creators know, coming up with an idea of what to paint, write about, or draw can be what keeps something on a waiting list. Someday we will paint, someday we will write a book, etc—just as soon as we have the time, the money, the approval. David gets things happening by picking 50 things to draw a week in advance.
That’s 50 ways to start. 50 ways to get doing instead of waiting.
The simple thing I’ve learned over the years is just to have a starting point and once you have a starting point the work seems to make itself.
~ David Shrigley
If you’ve already done your Waiting List (and if you didn’t —just click here!) it’s time to get busy.
Select one of the things you’ve been waiting to do and begin listing anything and everything you could do to get started. Write down every idea, the obvious ones, and the off-the-wall ones, that come to mind. It’s interesting how once we start this process we begin seeing so many ways to get started. To do it now instead of waiting. It’s helpful to know that you really can’t go wrong taking action. The power lies in taking action, not so much in the specifics of the action itself—make sense?
It’s essential to do it before we are ready—
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now.
~ Hugh Laurie, English actor, musician, and comedian
It matters that we understand the real truth about waiting—
I’m tired, folks.
I can’t wait anymore.
Because ultimately, I woke up & finally asked WHAT AM I WAITING FOR?
and it was nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that wasn’t already inside of me.
~ Jen Pastiloff
It’s time to seek the clarity that comes with writing down what we’ve been waiting on (and how long we’ve been waiting)—
Name the things we’ve been waiting on because as you probably can feel in your bones…those things contain magic.
What will it do in our lives if we wake up?
What magic awaits those of us who decide to stop waiting?
There are a thousand and more ways to start.
We only need to pick one!
You’re right! It’s easy to put off getting started! I do have a list of things I want to try!
Painting is a big personal plus for me, no matter how they come out.
My list of things to attempt is growing, but marking off done is so satisfying!
Thank you for your encouragement to stop waiting. Seems like we as women we have been taught to put others’ needs before our own. I’ve made the list-at the top is to improve my drawing. So I’m making time to draw every day-even if its only for 5 minutes. I think about your comment about mark making and how it is an extension of one’s personality. So every morning, I have “Art before Breakfast” and draw my coffee cup. I plan to do draw cups for 30 days-then go to the next item on my list-wonder how well I’ll be able to draw by December, by April, by September. Definitely better than now and all because I am choosing not to wait any longer. Thanks again for the encouragement.
I love the “Cottage Peonies.” I want to learn to play the violin.
Great suggestion – 50 inspirations! My starting point is borrowed from Jerry Fresia: commit to stsnding in front of my easel, brush in hand, dimply looking at my subject or reference photo, and beginning the stroke. I have been in a dry spell caring for my aging Mom, and need/WANT to re-activate my center!
Hi Dreama, All I did was sign up for a two hour weekly class at our local community centre nine years ago and have never looked back. I am having so much fun with my art and meeting all kinds of people with the same interests. You are so right, you only have to take one step and your on your way.
Follow along on my social accounts for behind the scenes peeks, inspiration, tips, stories & more.