These inspiration posts - something I've been doing since the start of the blog - are as much for me as anyone else. They give me a chance to reflect on the past week, to think about the direction I'm headed, and even if I get nothing else done that week, it keeps me going. At the start, maybe a month in when I got past the initial drive of doing something new and reached a mental obstacle, knowing that I wasn't going to allow myself to quit on the blog this time (yes, this time, I've attempted blogging at least maybe 4 times in the past), forcing myself to do the work helped me get through to a certain routine. It helped me regain my momentum.
Your mental obstacle can be anything. It can be not knowing what to do next. Or you just finished a big project and need to regain some energy before starting on another. It can be life seemingly getting in the way, be it other responsibilities or getting sick or over-scheduling. Maybe the mental block is something more along the lines of wondering if anything you're doing matters. There's so much competition for attention out there, it seems as though everybody has something they're trying to share with the world. Maybe it's wondering how you measure up. Thinking you got into the game too late, when all these successful entrepreneurs out there have been doing this since '05, '08, at least a decade now, maybe more. Maybe it's staring at that blank canvas, batt of wool, ball of yarn, cursor blinking on your word processor, an instrument waiting idly to make a sound, fluorescent lights flickering in your otherwise silent workshop, and you're standing there praying to the powers that be for the tiniest spark of inspiration.
Just start. Start painting, start poking, start stitching, start typing, start strumming, start cutting. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be anything. It can all be undone, it can be tossed or painted over.
This weekend a good friend of mine came over, and I introduced him to needle felting. I told him to just start stabbing at it and see what happens. So many people show up expecting the end result to look like what they have in their heads, and I'm here to tell you that you're limiting yourself far too much with that. I'm all for visualization, but unless you're absolutely sure that's what you want and have the skills to make it happen, you're more likely to get frustrated with it not looking the way you wanted it to rather than looking past it and seeing the potential of where it's taking you. Same thing happened with me last night. I sat down to make polymer clay flower pots for my needle felted succulents, and instead ended up making little pinch pots inspired by Where The Wild Things Are.
Many if not most of the things I do, I'm in for a ride. Most of the time I have no idea where it's going to take me. In fact, most of the times when I really want something to work a certain way, I end up not liking it as much as something that was completely spur of the moment. Many of my blog posts - same thing. I just start typing and see where it takes me. Only thing I have is the quote I started with. In the lines of Monty Python: "And now for something completely different."
The thing is, you aren't going to get anywhere if you don't start in the first place.
"But Magi, I don't know what to make!" Guess what? That makes two of us. Don't wait for inspiration. It will come to you. TRUST ME.
A little tip to a few of my friends who have approached me about wanting to take their ideas to the next level: find something to help you get through that initial mental obstacle that happens after you start to lose momentum but before it's become a routine. It can be a weekly ritual, the way my inspiration posts are mine. It's not the only obstacle you'll face, but it's the one that separates the people who fail from those who ultimately succeed.