Monday, February 21, 2011

If you're stuck

If you find yourself blocked creatively, having a clear goal but not able to move forward, ask yourself this: Are you trying to start from someplace other than where you are right now?

If you're setting out on a long journey, for example, to New York City, it's understandable to think, "That's impossibly far! I can't get there if I start from here. I'll have to set out from Trenton, which is sort of close to New York City." It's natural to wish you were already closer to your destination, but, in reality, the only place you can start from is right here, exactly where you are right now.

This is easy to understand in the realm of physical travel, but reality is just as central and unbending in the realm of creative ambitions. You can only start from exactly where you are right now. And if you find that you're paralyzed and unable to move forward towards your goal, it might be because you're trying to do the impossible. You might be trying to take your first step forward from Trenton, before you've even made the trip to Trenton.

If so, it's time to reframe your questions. Instead of asking, "How can I get from Trenton to New York?" try asking yourself, "Where can I get to from here, if I just start moving?"

I'll have more to say about this soon, in a non-riddle format.

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