“The assumption that what currently exists must necessarily exist is the acid that corrodes all visionary thinking.”
— Murray Bookchin
We are most moved by art that doesn’t try to directly move us, and we learn most from lessons that aren’t meant to be lessons.
Waiting can be seductive—why now when later is so easy to fantasize about? But in the end how we approach our days is how we approach our lives. If it’s the wrong time every single day then it will never be the right time. On the other hand, if you stop waiting for the right time you can do what you want right here and now.
I once read this great blogpost that used the analogy of keeping your inventory low. The author used inventory as an metaphor for things that you’re currently waiting on, the preconditions that need to be fulfilled before you act. For example, I want to hear about back this job before I apply for others. Or I need to lose weight before I wear this dress. Or, I need to have closure from my crush before I can move on and start dating other people. To be clear, sometimes the preconditions are real, but often they aren’t and you don’t actually need to wait for X to happen before you do Y. One way of keeping inventory low is to set self-imposed deadlines: if I don’t hear back in a week, I move on. Or you could just decide that the precondition doesn’t really matter.
He said that most of these people get fixated on over-optimizing the conditions they’re working in (do they have the perfect office setup? Do they have enough free time? Do they have the right idea?) and end up never writing at all because they keep blaming their environment. Which, of course, is a great illustration of that William Feather line about how people who “delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.”
1 – Show up. Many work sessions will feel unproductive which can feel frustrating, but the best creatives sit down to work even when they don't feel like it. Consistency rewards creativity.
2 – Generate a ton of ideas. Your best ideas rarely come early. So when you think you've got it, keep going.
3 – Refine the good ones. If you find yourself over-explaining, it's likely too difficult to digest. The best ideas are simple and easy to understand.
4 – Share the best ones. The potential for criticism forces you to pay attention to the details, and naturally encourages you to improve.