Here in Texas, it’s definitely more comfortable to be inside working on a decorating project than outside in the heat and humidity. Of course, I think if you live in cold country, this might be reversed where you save up your creativity for the months when the weather’s too cold and icy to be outside.
Time Passes; Good Intentions Fade
Whatever the project you want to create, and whenever you plan to do it, have you ever noticed how time passes, and you never find the time to get started?
Summer fades into fall, and those cross stitch table napkins you were going to do for your sister’s Christmas present just didn’t get done. Or maybe that goal of reading all of Jane Austen’s books again fell by the wayside. (For writers, creative projects usually mean a book written “just for the fun of it” to see if, maybe, you can pull together a book in a different genre.)
Why couldn’t you find the time to do what you wanted to do? Maybe you were inspired, but the inspiration cooled, and, suddenly, the project looked more like work than fun.
The Secret To Achievement
Rita Dove, former Poet Laureate of the United States, said: “If you wait for inspiration, inspiration’s going to go away and look for more fertile ground to work with.”
The way many aspiring writers work is the way most people work on anything drawn from the imagination: they wait for the “muse” to commune with them. However, there’s something all these people don’t know that professional writers have learned. Inspiration comes to those who work consistently, every day, on the creative project.
Imitate the Pros
Regardless of what you want to achieve, I encourage you to work like a professional works.
Professionals don’t wait for inspiration. They know that success comes from working each day on the highest priority goal. They create a habit of working each day. That habit is like a muscle strengthened by weight lifting.
Professionals who create know that success comes from consistently drawing upon their creativity. That's the muscle they're exercising so that it gets stronger the more it is used.
Seize the Day
Identify your high priority goals. Take action every day in order to achieve your targeted goal.
With writing, write every day, it’s easy to get free-flowing words when you build that skill every day. But, if you write every now and then, when inspired, it takes a lot longer to get the words flowing.
Many professional writers leave nothing to chance. They prime the pump every day by leaving a dangling thread that can easily be picked up the next day. They also may prime the pump by reading over what they wrote the previous day, editing it a bit, and then diving into the current day’s writing.
This holds true for planting a rose garden, stitching a quilt, or faux painting a wall. You can’t just work at it when you’re inspired. To complete anything like this, you have to work at it consistently until it’s finished.
If you start and stop, start and stop, the garden will be overgrown with weeds before the first rose ever blooms. The quilt will be a partially finished project haunting you every time you see it on the shelf in the closet. The manuscript will never be more than a pile of random pages.
Consistency of effort finishes the painting, plants the garden, writes the book, and establishes the habit of finishing what you start.
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