Lately I've been trying to study how I function creatively. I think it's important to delve into our own processes or study the processes of others to understand what it means to create. And I realized this...

There are 4 basic stages of my creative process:

Stage 1: Excitement. An idea pops up in our head and we get this jolt of inspiration. The idea usually lives or dies in this stage. If the idea is not that good, we might just abandon it from here but if we believe this idea to be good or even genius, then we start to put things in motion.

Stage 2: Planning. We start to prepare ourselves to do this thing. We might do research. We jot notes. We might buy the materials. We might create outlines and deadlines and plan out the steps. 

Stage 3: Execution. 

Stage 4: Completion.

That being said, I need to speak to you about stage 3. Because in this stage is where all the obstacles start to pop up. We might get stuck in the process or run into issues. This is the area where writers might get "writer's block" (which I don't believe exists, btw, but that's a diff post). This is where you might run out of money to keep the project going. This is where you might gain fatigue and or feel like you're on a hamster wheel not moving forward. This is where you might lose interest or realize it's not going the way it should. 

For me, this is where self-doubt comes in to play.

I've been working diligently on editing this doc and I am having a great time doing it. In fact, I'm up editing till 2am and waking up at 7am just because I can't wait to continue. It's hella repetitive to sit here and just edit clip after clip but it's like I'm solving this giant jigsaw puzzle and I'm seeing the huge overall picture come to life. So no, fatigue and losing interest is not my problem with this project.

What IS showing up is self doubt. I'm loving the project so much and I'm putting so much work that there's a voice in my head that's saying, "Well, what if it doesn't go anywhere?" What if I'm wasting my time and energy? What if no one else likes it? What if no one picks it up? What if...what if...what if...

So I'm being honest when I say that the fear is real and I have to remind myself that many people who became successful also went through these moments of self doubt. I have to remind myself now, more than before, to not give up and see it through. 

It's important for us to understand this stage of the creative process because this is where we get hung up ya'll. This is where we push off those things that meant so much to us at one point and now it just sits in our pending files. This is where we sometimes miss out on our own genius because something got in the way that kept us from finishing that amazing poem, or amazing manuscript, or amazing painting, or amazing business opportunity.

Keep these stages in mind so you'll know where you are with each specific project. If you can be conscious of that, you can act accordingly. And make sure to keep a very very close eye on Stage 3 because this is when it will make or break you.

Good luck to all of us in the process of something. And if you want, say something encouraging to me from time to time (not fishing for compliments here btw) to remind me what I'm working on is so so super important and is of value to the world. Help me keep my faith in check.