I do one of two things when I begin a personal project; I will either go into it full-force until I burn out (usually within two weeks) and the project goes into indefinite hiatus, or I decide to plan every detail so I don’t burn out, only to spend so much time planning that I never get started. In both these cases, I feel like I need to do the whole project in some big, insane push, planned or otherwise, or it won’t get done at all.
But trying to do a personal project in a big, insane push has never helped me complete one.
In a recent class I'm taking to understand my own creative flow, we talked about going slow. As usual, just after it ended I started thinking about what else I could do that day toward my goal; should I plan out every step of the 100 days of creation I'm about to embark on for this class? Or should I go ahead and start sketching things now?
My answer was neither.
I’ve decided not to work on my project this week, not until the 100 days formally begins, because the class sessions ARE my work on it this week. I don’t need to do anything extra. I don’t need to overachieve until I burn out. A little bit is okay. Nothing is okay. 20 minutes a day is okay. Cop-out days where I stare at the project for two minutes and then leave are okay.
I’m starting to actually assimilate that into my head rather than believing it and doing the opposite.