A Most Delicious Brew

Mint tea

Making mint tea is a fine art.

If the leaves are left in too long, they become limp, lifeless, and the water, once steaming, quickly becomes cold.

A cup of overflavoured leafy lukewarm water is not so delicious.

Remove the mint too soon though, and the tea is barely flavoured at all. You may as well just drink hot water.

It’s the same with our creative work.

We need to be engaged in each project just long enough to give it our full, glorious essence, but not so long that it becomes tepid, unappealing and overflavoured.

 

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9 thoughts on “A Most Delicious Brew”

  1. If many projects tend to be most exciting at the beginning followed by periods of serious and perhaps less exciting working out the details in the second stage, what would you suggest?
    (I wish I remembered who I saw address this issue very recently- about why people sometimes have follow-through issues on creative work because the front end so often is the most exciting).

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    1. I think there may be many reasons, all driven by fear of some kind! I wrote a post a while back about being focused and finding a new level of fulfillment from that, rather than skipping from the thrill of one new project to the next the whole time.

      The Tale Of Francine Focus And The Never-Miss-Outs

      If we’re constantly looking for the next new project, we don’t ever give our full attention to the current one and give it a chance to become all it can be. Like having one eye on the future all the time rather than both on the present moment.

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  2. I know that former post but my question is different from that. I was wondering, rather, how from your first post people are supposed to know when to let go and when instead to Do the Work after the glorious feelings of the exciting opening.

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    1. Ultimately, there are no set instructions that work for everyone, and no guarantees. Like all other aspects of creating, you can read and absorb advice and how other people do things, but in the end we all need to just experiment and find what works best for us. Intuition, faith, experience, and that “just because it feels right” feeling are our guides.

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  3. Here is a quote I found from Lateral Action in Summer 2009 that I think is useful on this point:
    “Seth points out that whenever you start a major undertaking you will inevitably run into difficulties (‘the dip’). At that point you need to look ahead and ask yourself: Will persevering lead to a better life or more of the same difficulty? If more of the same, you should quit as fast as possible.”

    But if you can look ahead and see a time when your present efforts are rewarded, so that life becomes easier on the other side, then it would be foolish to quit. At this point, you need to be as stubborn and dogged as Andy, chipping away with his hammer.

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  4. I read Seth Godin’s The Dip recently, and it’s, predictably, another excellent book for anyone trying to lead a creative, meaningful life.

    (Didn’t we talk about this book very recently somewhere else Fritzie?)

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