“I used to work in bursts of intuition. Now I find the very process of working step by step feeds my imagination.” Anne Truitt

It’s so fun to begin working on a new idea. But after the inspiration fades –and it will– what happens to your project?

Earlier this week I saw a link to an article titled: The uncomfortable secret to creative success is “disequilibrium”. I had to click through and see what it said.

The author, Sandy Speicher, is a partner at IDEO, a global design company so the article was about how a design team creates.

Inside the article was IDEO’s “Mood Meter” graphic:

“Years ago, IDEO developed a tool called the “Mood Meter” to help prepare newcomers for design projects. It’s a graphic that shows the journey of the design process with various levels of joy and anxiety charted on it.” Sandy Speicher

It’s the opposite of the charts that I use for mapping a story, because I like to show the tension in the story as a mountain that the main character (and the writer) has to climb. A mountain rises in the middle, and this mood chart is a deep valley of feelings.

As far as moods go, however, I have to say that this accurately reflects the moods that I (and the writers I work with) experience. As the project progresses and leaves that fun “insights” phase, the book turns into WORK and the mood drops.

Q. When you feel bad about your project, how do you keep going?
A. Show up at the page.

A book begins with insight, but to make something new, you have to break new ground. You have to allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. The work that you do when you are uncomfortable, when you are experiencing disequilibrium, is what will lead to your next breakthrough.

Figuring out what to do is hard.

This is where the creative habit enters the picture. If you show up at the page and write everyday, no matter how you feel, you can move your project forward step by step. Just keep writing–whether you think it is “good” or not. Capture every idea that come to you . . .

. . . and then show up at the page the next day and do it again

. . . and again

. . . and again.

Nature creates step by step. You can, too.

Will you show up at the page
and write everyday this week?

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.