Someone asked me “What’s the hardest part about being a creative artist?” Was it the instability of never knowing where or when your next job will come? Was it the subjectivity of art that defies consistent, clear metrics by which you’ll be viewed? Was it the competition? The all too often volatile personalities surrounding the arts? Having to audition/interview/pitch yourself more often than most people change their clothes?
I’d argue that there are difficulties (and rewards) in every line of work. But the thing that stands out for creative artists is that there is no regularity of set tasks and—most dauntingly—no set starting point. Thus, getting started, becomes the hardest thing.
Writers have innumerable ideas swirling around in their heads—endlessly creating new ones to add to the rich soup of story fodder. But how to choose one idea to begin our novel, screenplay or play? How do we decide which idea is worthier of our time? Which one will allow us to evolve it into a complete work? Which one will become something that resonates with others?
Actors and directors, though often at the mercy of the projects offered them, still must decide if the role is right; if the film is right; if the timing is right; etc. The same is true for painters, sculptures and so on. How do we decide what project is worth investing our time, energy and heart?
But we must make that choice; cast aside countless great ideas…and begin. For if we do not begin, we can never manifest our creations into existence. The wonderful thing that has helped me begin things is realizing that I can always change courses or start over. The only true failure is the failure to begin. Abandoned projects and ideas may be revisited and suddenly find new life. So, every beginning has value.
You just have to begin.