Reflections on Process

Reflections on Process

What's your favorite part of the creative process?

For me it's the beginning. I love the early stages of a project, the brainstorming, the planning, the initial shooting, or first draft writing.

The more challenging parts for me are the refining parts. The rehashing and going over it over and over again. Particularly when it comes to writing. Revisions are brutal.

More often than not, I write from a steady stream of creativity and inspiration, and by the time the initial part is created, I've already moved past the piece and onto something else.

This isn't so bad when it comes to compositing. My pieces generally don't take that long to come together, and even when they do, as long as I'm in an active editing phase, I'm good with it. But if there are tweaks left after the fact that I need to go back to fix days, weeks, or months later, it's probably not going to happen. (The image above as an example of this. Though I do want to go back and make some changes.)

With visual art, the initial edits are all part of the ongoing process. It's a nice and gentle flow from one part to the next, and completing a piece is just as satisfying as beginning it.

Writing is different. There's rarely a day that I don't write something. Even if it's simply writing a journal entry. I've started revisions, but they're more challenging to follow through with.

I have thousands of pages of words I've never touched again. They don't feel polished enough to share, and some are so scattered it's impossible for even me to make sense of them.

I do minor edits on blog posts, but it isn't that in depth, and isn't as daunting because it isn't a huge chunk of work that all still has to somehow flow together by the time I'm finished with it.

I'm working on this though. It's a challenge and an uphill battle, but I'm working on it. Sometimes showing up and taking it one small step at a time is exactly what's needed.

If you, like me, struggle with finishing things, here are some things I'm currently finding helpful.

  • Show up every day
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Know what you're showing up for. Both in a literal sense, what project will you be working on. And in an abstract sense, why does this matter or what does it accomplish.
  • Break it down into smaller chunks. Baby steps count.
  • Have a set time to work on each project, or set amount of time you have to work on it.
  • Make a list of projects and keep it where you can see it (if you have several ongoing).

I'm slowly getting back into a writing routine. I've passed 30,000 words in my Chasing Creativity book, and have multiple other projects in process.

Now it's about just showing up and doing the daily work.

Do you like different parts of the creative process based on the form of creativity you're currently engaged with? Do you find that different forms of creativity operate by different standards?