Have you ever noticed, when you’re thinking about starting some new project that you’re really excited about and is super important to you, how hard it is to get started? Let’s say, for example, that you’re going to do a series of pencil drawings from photographs you really like and make them into a book.
OK, first you get all your stuff laid out on the table — your photographs, paper, and the different pencils you want to use, plus a couple of erasers. Then you remember that there are dishes in the sink, so you go wash them. Alrighty, now it’s time to get to work on that project. So you sharpen your pencils, and then you remember that you really should check your e-mail. Or you need to get back to that friend on Facebook who left you a message yesterday. Or you forgot to clip your toenails last night and one of them is getting caught on the inside of your sock. Or . . . or . . . or . . . Well, you get the picture.
This strange phenomenon is something that seems to attack most people, especially when they’re about to do something creative, or something that really matters to them. What the heck is this fiendish monster? Whatever it is, it seems it’ll try just about anything, short of ramming a pistol against your temple, to get you to NOT do what you were planning to do. Actually, now that I think of it, I wouldn’t put it past it to ram a pistol against my temple.
If you’re religiously inclined, you might call this seeming force “the devil.” It certainly does seem devilish. What else but a devil would say to you, just when you’re on the verge of launching into a precious project: Yeah, but you’re not good enough to do this. You don’t have enough energy to tackle it. It’s just selfish to do this. Wouldn’t you rather just lie down and be comfortable? It’s pointless to do this — nothing will ever come of it and nobody will care about it except you. You don’t have the inspiration to do this. It’s an exercise in futility. Maybe it’s not God’s will for you to do this, yada, yada, yada, yada . . .
Well guess what? Even though this “thing” may seem overpowering, it actually isn’t. It’s all bark and no bite, it’s hot air, and we can put it down. That pistol has blanks in it, and it’s jammed anyway. In fact, this “monster” isn’t really anything at all, and the only power it seems to have is what we give it, unwittingly or otherwise. We can start now. We can say no. Once you grit your teeth the first time and just go ahead and DO your thing, the next time it’s easier. You can make up your mind to go in the direction of the table (or wherever you’re working) and sit in the chair and start. The dishes can wait, and so can everything else.