I'm writing this while on flight - sitting in the exit row, with NO ONE beside me. If you fly frequently, you know, this is EPIC.
<End of random note.>
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." -Mark Twain
Archaic as it sounds, I use my trusty fine-tip pen and a pad of paper to make a job log every day. Even if the job repeats day after day, I re-write the job on the new list every morning. Putting the pen to the paper is my routine, it’s how I ‘start’. It's my ritual. (<After coffee, of course)
Projects that require creativity can be the most difficult to start. If I give my daughter a blank piece of paper and say ‘draw a beautiful flower’, she will get going, right away, drawing a beautiful flower. If I give her a blank paper and say ‘draw something beautiful’ she will sit and sit until she asks me for ideas of what to draw.
Today I was challenged with brainstorming for a couple new marketing strategies. The question is open ended… “What can we do to drive customers to the business?” “What bait should we put on the hook in order to catch the (right) fish?”
There should be no obvious right answer. If there is, it’s not the right one. The answer will come together like the path of highways that take you to your Spring Break hotel. It'll twist and turn, and you’ll reach your destination only if you (first) start driving, and (second) follow the directions. As with any creative project, the first concept will never be better than the second, third, fourth, etc.
I’m writing this with a simple message of motivation. If there is a lingering job on your log that has been chucked into the procrastination bucket, get it out today. Start. Ten minutes after putting my pen to the paper I had some pretty solid starting points for the marketing plans. Granted, I know the end result will look nothing like my initial sketches but hey, it's a start.
I’m always shocked at how fast an idea comes together after I had put it on the shelf for months because I didn’t know where to start.
Thanks for reading!
Note: If you want to compare your creative struggles with some famous and not-so-famous authors and artists - here's an excellent read with several inspiring and insane routines that artists employ to maneuver through their daily routines and get to get the work done.
‘Daily Rituals' by Mason Currey