How many times have you thought about starting a new creative project, but felt not quite ready?
Maybe you needed just a little more time to let the idea percolate in your mind?
Maybe you needed to do just a tiny bit more research into the background story?
Maybe you needed a touch more experience in some smaller projects before you attempt this larger one?
Maybe you needed to ask just another one or two people how they might approach the project?
Maybe you needed to know exactly how this new idea was going to evolve, down to every last detail, before you could begin creating it to ensure you would realise your vision absolutely perfectly?
These are just a handful of maybes, I’m sure you can come up with plenty more that have held you back from beginning a new artwork.
But here’s a radical thought: What if you didn’t NEED to be completely ready to begin?
What if you didn’t need to have every step of the creative process for this new project perfectly planned out ahead of you?
What if it was, in fact, much better to be UNready to create?
When you’re unready, it means you give your creativity a little more freedom to explore, the opportunity to experiment and have fun.
Which is, after all, what our creativity always wants, and what it does best, when we let it.
When you’re unready it means that happy accidents can occur. Things you didn’t mean to do, or expect to happen, but actually give you a new direction or thought or breakthrough or bolt of inspiration that you couldn’t have possibly had otherwise.
When you’re unready, it allows you to be a beautifully flawed, creative, human artist. Instead of trying to be some perfect art machine churning out flawless artworks time and time again.
Being unready is like stepping outside your front door with a pocketful of money, a bottle of water and a packed lunch and heading whichever way the wind takes you.
You might end up in the next town, you might end up in the next city, you might end up in another country. Depends what you’re drawn to, where the adventure carries you. One step leads to another, and before you know you’ve lost track of time and your senses are filled with new stimulation.
Maybe you’re unready, and hadn’t planned every step of your journey, but you’re certainly happy, invigorated and alive.
Embrace your unreadiness.
Enjoy the not knowing, the unpredictably and the spontaneity of your creativity, the offbeat pathways and the secret doors. It’s what being a creative artist is all about.
How can you be a little more unready for your next creative project?
Or, put another way, why not start to explore your next idea sooner, without waiting to have a full map or set of plans to follow beforehand?
There’s a whole world of creativity waiting inside you, just begging to be discovered.
A Thank You Note: The inspiration for this post came from Olivia Dresher, a poet and writer I met on Twitter a while back. She posted the phrase “unready enough” this morning, and I asked her permission to quote her and use it as the title for this post, which she kindly gave. Thank you Olivia. : )
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