There are so many things I am planning to create but I am not taking any actions actually. Probably because on some level, I’m still fighting the fear that nobody will care about my art in the end, and it won’t make any difference or impact on the world.
I am sure that many artists are struggling with the same issues as I do. Then I’m going to ask you and myself a few important questions. Does your art matter to you? Does the process of creating it brings you joy? Does it leave you fulfilled, give you release? Does it change you, challenge you, grow you, evolve you? Does it connect you more deeply to who you really are?
If answers to most of my questions is yes, then you have to continue without any doubts. I am writing this not only to convince you to continue creating, but to convince myself as well.
A few days ago I came across one nice article about Jerry Seinfeld, an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. Jerry Seinfeld revealed a unique calendar system that he uses to pressure himself to write something every day. Here’s how it works.
He said: ”For each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
I think when it comes to creative writing and to creative work in general, whatever that might be this is the perfect advise. Listen to Jerry, he knows what he is talking about and don’t you ever break your own creative chain.
Unfortunately I came across this Jerry Seinfeld’s publication after I already broke my own chain regarding my painting routine. At some point I got frustrated with my everyday struggle to make money, I got busy, tired and anxious regarding my income. I had a lot of expenses by the time during my divorce process that took me more than 3 years and that costed me a lot of money. So, unfortunately I broke my creative chain.
I totally stopped to be involved with my art work. And it doesn’t have to do with inspiration, I always have a lot ideas in my mind, it has to do with my motivation. Even though I wish to start painting again I just don’t have the courage.
What happened to me? Why? Am I lazy, disappointed, discouraged, or what? I should never broke that chain. I think this was my biggest mistake. Even though I do plan to start painting again, and I do buy some painting supplies from time to time, and I wish to try some new techniques, all those supplies are still just collecting the dust on the shelf. I really need to get serious. I have to wake up again. And when I manage to do that I will make sure that I never break that chain again.
At least I am consistent here regarding my blog writing and posting. And I am going to continue even in the case my blog views drop to 5 views or less per day.
Jerry is absolutely right and his technique really works. Because succeeding in something isn’t the one-shot pushes that get us where we want to go, it is the consistent daily action that builds extraordinary outcomes. More you write, you got more inspired and motivated to continue.
You may have heard “inch by inch anything’s a cinch.” Inch by inch does work if you can move an inch every day you will be able to reach the desired destination one day. Just remember the moral story about the rabbit and the turtle.
The story goes like this:
One day a rabbit was boasting about how fast he could run. He was laughing at the turtle for being so slow. Much to the rabbit’s surprise, the turtle challenged him to a race. The rabbit thought this was a good joke and accepted the challenge. As the race began, the rabbit raced way ahead of the turtle, just like everyone thought.
The rabbit got to the halfway point and could not see the turtle anywhere. He felt tired and he decided to stop and take a short nap. Even if the turtle managed to pass him, he would be able to race to the finish line first. All this time the turtle kept walking step by step by step. Turtle never quit no matter how hot or tired she got. She just kept going.
However, the rabbit slept longer than he had thought. When he woke up he could not see the turtle anywhere. He went at full speed to the finish line but there he found that turtle was already there waiting for him.
For me the moral message of this story besides that we should never underestimate the weakest opponent, is also to stay consistent, and move forward, never break the chain and to keep going. Inch by inch anything’s a cinch.
Also you don’t wake up with a new skill fully born in you. Even if the foundation is there, it takes you months or years to master it. You can’t recover from any loss overnight. It becomes a healing process in which you live your life day by day until you renew your inner self and overcome the sadness. So good luck, stay inspired and don’t break your creative chain. Cherish the seeds of life and joy, one at a time.
Neglect the rough skin of negative thoughts, naysayers and circumstances. Just appreciate the seeds of the moment. For beauty. For sharpness. For pain. And for being alive.