The other night I attended a journaling class at my local library. It’s a class that I’ve been going to monthly for a few years now. I always benefit from the time to focus on nothing but clearing my head. The big focus the other night was beginnings – starting something new you’ve always wanted to try or getting back into something that you enjoy, but have let fall to the wayside.
For me, getting back into things I enjoy can take effort, but it’s far easier than taking on something new. I don’t mean this hobby-wise. Starting a new hobby for me is fairly easy, so long as I have the time and resources. I’ll jump blindly into new creative endeavors without much concern for whether or not they will be “successful.” It’s reminiscent of the quote in the image below, which I borrowed from the slide Janine Cammarata (the class instructor) put up at the start of class. New creative projects, that I can dive into without pause (which I’ll admit is rare), truly are magical new beginnings for me.
That being said, some beginnings I don’t feel quite as excited about. For example, I’m still at a point where I can make (within reason) any kind of career move I choose. It’s liberating on the one hand and completely daunting on the other. I’m the type of person that falls into a cyclical trap of options and to-dos. There are so many things to do that it takes me a while to settle on something, like freelance for example. Then there are so many preparation pieces that I tend to stall out making lists and adding to the lists as I think of all the details that have to go into painting the big picture. In a way it’s great. I’m never stuck on just the big picture or the details. I always see both. But, then I halt my own progress by getting bogged down that I hardly ever manage to start anything.
For a long time my creative writing was like this. I could see the story and where I wanted to get to, but not always how to get there. Then, whenever I finally started writing, I’d get caught up in editing and rewriting before there was even a story. I’ve learned to grow more comfortable with just writing – nothing else. Every few weeks I meet with a writer’s group. Everyone provides insight and tips for changes to help improve whatever story I’m currently working on. I’m always tempted to change right away, but instead I leave their comments up on the Google Doc I shared with them to come back to later. It helps me not to get too stuck on any one scene, forgetting the larger story.
I need to figure out how to apply this to my own work life. I need to set aside the options and settle on what seems right for the moment. I’ll allow myself to plan, to set small incremental goals, so that I feel like I’m on track to something and not just milling about trying my best.
I’ve got the idea. Now I just have to follow through.