Have you ever struggled to get a creative project out in the world? Have you ever been drawn in five directions and not known where to put your creative energies?
This is the place I found myself in last December. I had been chugging along on five wildly different creative endeavors, waiting for one of them to explode or even just puff out modestly so I could focus on one project entirely.
It was fear holding me back. How do I choose which one will be successful? How do I know that my time will matter if I throw all my irons in one basket? Why can’t I learn how to stop mixing metaphors?
For several weeks I asked every creative I know what to do. Which one should I choose? I asked them all.
Choose the one you love, they said.
I love all of them, I said.
Choose the one that makes you happy, they said.
They all make me happy, I said.
Choose the one you want to work on right now, they said.
But I want to work on all of them! I said.
So there’s the rub. I love my work, and I love it across genres. Ever single minute of it. Even the dental marketing I do. But I had this nagging feeling that any one of these projects could really explode if I could just concentrate on one of them. How to pick?
Then came creative guru Jessica Abel’s post on Idea Debt and The One Goal to Rule Them All. It wasn’t rocket science she put forth in those two posts, but they let me know exactly what I needed to hear.
Just pick one.
Pick one of your ideas.
Pick one and trust you can make it happen (I added that last part).
So I did.
I picked one thing that I know I can make happen and I’m doing it, in a big way. It has nothing to do with anything that has ever earned me a paycheck in the past (fear!) and I can’t be sure if it will ever be any good (loathing!) and it involves more bells and whistles than anything else that I’ve done before (Las Vegas!).
So what is this all about?
Tessalation! is a children’s picture book about wonder, creativity and the great outdoors. It’s stars a little half-Asian 8-year-old named Tessa, who gets sent outside. There, she discovers a thrilling beauty in the patterns of nature.
I hope you’ll check out the Kickstarter and share it with anyone you think will love it! It’s been a passion project for me and I am so thrilled to see it going out into the world!
And if you’re struggling with which of your projects to pursue, I’d to take Ms. Abel’s advice and pick one.
And blow it up to the high heavens!