The Creative Epiphany – If Not Now, When?


Are you by any chance contemplating throwing yourself into a huge creative project of some kind? The kind of undertaking that involves an enormous investment of energy, time, dedication, perseverance, determination, problem solving skills and bullets of sweat? Not to mention possible disappointment. But also to mention the possibility of great gratification and success.

Does the thought of the thing haunt you? Do you toy with it 24/7 in your mind? Do you have a love-hate relationship with it? You would love to do it but you would hate to have to actually spend the time to do it? Could you live without ever doing it? Or would you always regret that you did not? But if you decided to take it on, and you were wildly successful, would that not be fantastic?

Being on a creative fence is a sharp and uncomfortable perch. You are kind of tortured by your thoughts, feeling poked by spiking jabs of doubt. It is a real pain in the ass. Because after all, that is what it’s all about – the doubt. You constantly inquire of yourself, could you actually pull it off? Are you up to the challenge?

Deciding to do this creative thing would not be hide-able. Everyone would know you were working on the thing. And all your fav people would say WOW.  Some would even go on to say Yippee for you! Go for it! Others would remain nearly silent, behind mocking, eye-rolling  expressions that revealed, Oh brother, here she goes again. How is she ever gonna do that. And they walk away to go pick up their dry cleaning.

Would not doing this creative project thing mean you are just a chicken? Or would it reveal your wisdom in knowing what is just going to be too much for yourself? Playing chicken with yourself means that you pretty much meet yourself coming and going as you circle around and around the thing idea and if you fail to swerve you run head-on into your own self and your un-engaged goals, absorbing the impact and proving your grit and resilience….and you decide you simply must accept the challenge because it has hit you so hard….or you abandon that fruitless game of monotonous dodgeball and make other goals, sacrificing your big dream. And the doubters are thrilled. They can’t wait to see the next crazy game you play with yourself. They are keeping score.

But perhaps gutsy you proceeds with your plans and dreams for the thing and yet along the way at some juncture during the doing of the thing you then actually allow the doubters to insert themselves midstream. You let them monopolize your thoughts. And what if the result of that is you never manage to finish the thing or make it a success, after being obsessed and absent for weeks at a time and spouting off enthusiastic progress reports over your busy shoulder to anyone within talking distance? So what if that happens?

What if the sky falls and pigs fly?

Some would say you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Either way brings periodic agony. Each way brings uncertainty. Big deal. Why don’t you swallow your pride and proceed into the unknown territory of the high achievers? You will find many friends there, all of whom were accosted by doubters as they fought to clear the path to their dreams.