Fresh beginnings are refreshing, just as the word suggests. When you pursue them, whether you’re after original perspective, replenished drive, restored enthusiasm – and I surely commend proneness to new trials – consistence stares at you, with accusing eyes, around the corner.
You may choose to close your eyes, to not see or face this critical monster.
So, my question is: how do you achieve (better still, maintain) consistence?
For if you start afresh over and over again, you risk ending up with an overloaded baggage of dead-end beginnings. And you need the finish line. In order to make sense of what you’ve started. Plus, nobody likes the non-sensical.
Though, to be fair, the process is just as important. Similar to the cliché of enjoying the travel, not the destination.
So, again, where/when do you stop beginning, and start travelling (nevermind how far the destination)?
I’ve explored this – and needless to say, struggled with it – for a long time now. Hence, the following points are more of a constant reminder to myself (selfish, I know), about the direction(s) to be undertaken.
Here it goes:
Now and again, revisit your original intentions: why are you doing this, when/where did you start, where did you get to. Keep focus. If you’re to persist long-term, the initial motivation needs to be overwhelming, overpowering, overshadowing all else.
Keep focus on the ‘why’. Always. Remember the reason/s you started in the first place. It has to still make sense to you.
Allow Yourself Strolls and Different Turns
What keeps you going has to be personally challenging.
If you feel you’ve mastered something – although you never can, because mastery is a continual, never-stopping force – if you feel that you’re getting bored (which should not raise an alarm, since major artists did get bored in the long run, Virginia Woolf being one of them) with your ongoing subject/project/concept, then find yourself new challenges.
Take a different turn. Start another one. Freewrite. Volunteer. Do something out of your comfort zone. Turn to the geniuses for inspiration.
And then continue (this doesn’t mean yet another re-start, but rather a continuation to what you’ve already built up) towards the newfound path.
Digest Raw Material Regularly
In my opinion, a prerequisite for recurrent creative work is regularly digesting raw material.
What this means is looking for new ways to build more knowledge, learn more, to uplift yourself, inspire and motivate, challenge, and look around you (your contemporaries) and behind you (your predecessors) before going ahead (your personal path).
In every possible way: avid reading, watching films, documentaries, and other, diving into music, attending uplifting events (of any kind), talking to people (every individual is a valuable source), and digging within, since the internal holds many external truths and serves as an inexhaustible source.
When The Going Gets Tough…
…and it always does, what to do? Show up. Be there and fight. Resist the force. If it makes you feel any easier, the ‘it’ that makes you hold back is a universal human malady.
And yes, it’s more difficult and different than any other condition (the paradox: you yearn to create, but an unnameable force paralyzes your senses), and yes, the only way to beat it is by making the decision: is it more difficult to fight it or to later repent that you weren’t stronger.
In the meantime, time moves on. You should too.