Discipline is understanding that the creative ritual comes before the emotions. No matter what happens the ritual can continue. It's important to untangle it from the internal dialogue we carry: I don't feel like it, I'm too tired, I have bad luck today, it's not the right time.
By continuing the ritual, luck will turn around. It matters because it gets easier as we do it more often. Our bodies adapt, and automate hundreds of decisions that would otherwise act as barriers. This allows us to focus our energy on the important work of creating.
For artists, that's why it's so important to show up consistently. Momentum happens seamlessly because there's no hesitation. If you stop, it will take more time and effort to rebuild and return to the place you were at, than to maintain it. At all costs, avoid the downward spiral.
Mixed Messages Day 15
The writing process is in full swing. I know it because I'm exhausted. Soon, I will kick it up another notch, putting the aches aside with each setback. After a few days of exhaustion the body adapts, and learns to turn it into love, focusing on the excitement of creating not the pain.
Yet, the amount of tired took me by surprise. In any project, there are days, even weeks, when the body aches and the mind wanders. Normally, it happens later in the process, once the pressure increases. Normally, it happens after we've made so many edits and rewrites that it's impossible to tell if the music and story is good or not. I'm doing my best to reframe exhaustion into a positive, hoping to get past tired earlier in this project than with our last.
Being tired is also related to stress. We have at least two projects that need to be finished before the end of the month, and I will be out of town next weekend. That leaves very little room for error. Plus, there's the juggling that happens with day to day work. Still, I believe that if you make a promise, you must keep it, no matter how difficult it is to hold up your end. It's a unique privilege to be able to have an ongoing conversation with others. To ruin that privilege would be tragic and irresponsible.
So, despite all the reasons to take a break, the ritual will continue. And after a week or so, the exaustion will still be there, but it will be forgotten, replaced by momentum.
Give energy to get past tired!