He sat in his chair, trying to be creative, but the duties of his day job kept pressing against his consciousness. A memo left unfinished – a report left unread – It was difficult to concentrate on creating new worlds when the real world kept calling.
The doubt birds kept calling: “You can’t – you shouldn’t – no time for that – no talent – no discipline – you can’t – you can’t you can’t you can’t.”
“No,” he said, not sure he believed himself. “I can.”
“You can’t,” chattered the doubt birds.
“I’m going to,” he insisted.
“You’ll regret it,” said the doubt birds.
“Try and stop me,” said he.
They swarmed. He screamed. All was quiet.
And the words appeared, one by one, slowly at first and then all in a rush, over the blank pages.
“It’s crap,” said the doubt birds.
“Of course it is,” he said, “but it will get better – and I invented the doubt birds this morning, didn’t I?”
– – –
Sit down to create. Put the tools of creation in your hands. Move your hands. Something will be created. If you’re just starting, it may not be much.
But it will be something, and something is better than nothing. A feeble effort is better than no effort.
Do it again tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the many days after that. With practice the creations will be better, and at some point, as you keep it up, they will become so good you can say, “This is the creation I imagined – this is what I dreamed of.”
“It’s crap,” the doubt birds will surely say. But it’s not wasting away inside you anymore.
Sit down to create. Take up the tools of creation. Move your hands. See what happens? It’s a creation.
“I made this!” you cry in astonishment. Yes, you did. Yes, you can.
Is it good enough? Well, Theodore Sturgeon famously once said 90 percent of everything is crap (well, he said “crud,” but he meant something more colorful than “crap”) – but the corollary of that is that 10 percent is pretty good. You can’t create that 10 percent by worrying about the 90 percent.
And maybe you can fix some of that 90 percent through repair and revision – at least 10 percent of it …
Originally posted July 8, 2015