August 15

 “We need to fall in love with the process, not just the end product of our work.” – The Accidental Creative

Persist through the deep, dark valley of the creative process. Don’t give up when it’s about to get good.

Some people say the hardest part of any creative project is the beginning. And, some say it’s the end. I disagree with both.

I believe the hardest part is squarely in the middle.

You have so much invested that it’s difficult to turn back, but you aren’t yet close enough to the end that you clearly see the payoff for your efforts. You are in a deep grey zone where the only path forward involves a tremendous amount of work and no promise of glory. 

It’s in these moments that many people give up on a project. You see, at the beginning of the work we have the excitement, newness, and potential to keep us motivated. At the end, we are starting to clearly see the finished result. But in the middle, when everything is still forming, the work itself must sustain us. We must learn to fall in love with the process, not the outcome. 

You may be tempted to quit a project you’re working on right now because you’re squarely in the middle and it’s getting too difficult. You may even be tempted to justify quitting by switching to another project that provides that early-stage shot of excitement. But how many brilliant works of art or incredible products or world-class organizations will never be seen by human eyes because someone gave up before it got good?

Persist, friend. The hardest part of any work is squarely in the middle. And, we’re all right there with you right now. Don’t give up before it gets good.  

Question: Are you tempted to quit a project right now? What can you do to inject new energy into the work, or to fall in love with the process?

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