We are all capable of coming up with brilliant ideas. But here’s the problem: a lot of people are too busy getting ready for these ideas, which often leads to a lack of execution. It can be easy to put off starting a new project until you have developed the perfect website, taken ten online courses, or lost ten pounds.
I have met people (including myself) who were getting ready for something big (changing careers, starting a business, moving to a new country, etc.), and a few years later they were still in the preparation stage. This idea of needing to have everything perfectly aligned before beginning a creative endeavor harms our creativity, makes us feel exhausted, and keep us from taking action.
In this age of information, it is easy to fall into the trap of consuming content and thinking we are being productive when we’re actually not. When you tell yourself that you “just need to watch one more video before getting started,” that’s procrastination disguised as “research.” Don’t allow procrastination, self-sabotage, and perfectionism get in the way of your special thing.
My advice for you is to stop getting ready and just get started! While some crafts/projects/careers might require certain preparation and education, the truth is that our skills will improve as we practice. In her book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg writes:
“If you want to write a novel, write a novel. If it’s essays you want or short stories, write them. In the process of writing them, you will learn how. People often begin writing from a poverty mentality. They are empty and they run to teachers and classes to learn about writing. We learn writing by doing it. That simple. We don’t learn by going outside ourselves to authorities we think know about it.”
A year ago, I came up with the idea to sell prints of my art. But part of me feared that if I monetized my special thing, it would lose its magic—that it would feel like work instead of play. But it wasn’t like that at all! On the contrary, starting my creative business gave me a boost of energy and empowered my craft. And while some people might think it’s too soon, this is the truth:
It’s never too early to start living the life that you love.
I have been drawing since I was in fourth grade. I have given my craft the time it needed to grow. And I don’t think there will ever be a time when it’ll be perfect. I think my art will continue to evolve and improve with years.
The creative life, just as life itself, will always be a work in progress. @jessaraus13 (Click to Tweet!)
I’m not necessarily saying that you should approach your creative projects with a sense of urgency. Though, to be honest, you probably should. Life is too short to live in a state of permanent preparation. So start taking action today, and do what your heart desires!
Jessica Araus is a writer and illustrator living in the Netherlands. She writes stories based on her life experiences and she also creates colorful illustrations that entertain and inspire many. Connect with Jessica at jessicaaraus.com on Facebook, or Instagram.
Image courtesy of Jessica Lewis.