The Never-Miss-Outs were the most creative kids in town.
They were into every art form you could imagine.
They wrote and they read. They crafted and they carved. They filmed and they photographed. They sculpted and they sang. They pranced and they painted and they printed and they played.
The Never-Miss-Outs never missed out on any new way of creating that came along either.
As soon as the latest art form arrived, they were on to that too, declaring that this, finally, would be the medium that was just right for them, and would let their talent gush like a waterfall after a month of relentless rain.
On the surface, it sounded like the Never-Miss-Outs had the most exciting and creative lives imaginable.
Anyone looking into their world from the outside would think that they were so happy and so lucky to be talented in so many different areas, and to have so many amazing projects on the go.
But appearances are not always what they seem.
In fact, although the Never-Miss-Outs were indeed talented, they weren’t very happy at all. Often, they were downright miserable.
The problem was, they never saw any of the wonderful projects they started through to the end. They never saw most of them very much past the beginning.
They were always flitting to the next shiny new idea, abandoning in an instant whatever it was they were working on before and declaring it yesterday’s news. They never gave anything a chance to grow and evolve into something they could be proud of, something they could learn from.
The allure of the new always seemed greater. But in the end, they always felt so empty and dissatisfied.
Francine had been a Never-Miss-Out for most of her life, and like the others, never wanted to miss out on the latest art forms, and the most dazzling new ideas and materials.
But things were changing.
Francine was fed up with feeling dizzy from racing from project to project, from one new big thing to another, and never getting anything finished.
Worse than not finishing, and having an increasingly huge mountain of abandoned projects looming behind her, Francine, like the other Never-Miss-Outs, never enjoyed any of her creating because she was never able to lose herself in the moment, immerse herself in the pleasure that only creating can bring.
How can you enjoy what you’re doing if your attention is always half on what you might start next, and half on what you failed to finish in the past?
So, one day, Francine decided to change her ways.
She decided to pick just one medium to work on for the next few months, and to become as good as she could be in that.
She gave away all her other art materials and equipment – most of which had been used once or never at all – and just kept the bare minimum she needed.
Since Francine had chosen to focus on her writing, she needed nothing more than three essentials: her notebook, her pencil, and her imagination.
Then, Francine picked one project to work on for the next two weeks. It was a story she had found floating in her thoughts, asking to be heard, pleading to be written.
So, as she had promised herself, each and every day for the next 14 days, Francine wrote her story.
The rest of the Never-Miss-Outs kept coming by Francine’s house and trying to lure her back to their ways, dangling whatever shiny new project they had just started in front of her window.
But Francine was strong, and determined. And she worked only on her story.
Fourteen days later, Francine had written more on that one project than she’d written the rest of the year combined. In fact, she’d written more in 14 days than in maybe the last 14 years.
She was ecstatic, and so proud to finally find that feeling she’d thought was just a myth – becoming so lost in creating just one project that you lose track of time, of where you are, even of who you are, and create purely for the pleasure of creating.
And what a pleasure it was.
The Never-Miss-Outs, who had scoffed at first, now renamed her Francine Focus.
They were forced to give up their mocking, because Francine’s happiness was so abundantly obvious, and instead they pleaded for her to teach them how to be this creative and this happy too.
Francine Focus started a revolution amongst the Never-Miss-Outs.
She taught them how to stop chasing the shiny new ideas that appeared in their heads at such a rate it made them spin and feel sick, and instead to pick just one thing.
Francine taught them how to get focused on what was most important to them. She taught them how to create what mattered, and set everything else to one side.
And from then on, the Never-Miss-Outs found they did miss out. They missed out on plenty.
They missed out on always feeling anxious, overwhelmed, unfulfilled, dissatisfied and uncreative. They missed out on feeling failures because of all the abandoned projects they had stacked in their closets. They missed out on wondering if this was as good as life as an artist got, wondering whether it as supposed to be this hard, and feeling like throwing it all in.
But in exchange, they got to feel a happiness and reward in creating like they’d never known before.
And that was worth missing out on virtually anything for…
If getting focused is something you struggle with in your creative life, you might like to check out my ebook – How To Get Focused And Create What Matters – A Practical Guide for Choosing Your Best Ideas and Bringing Them To Completion.
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