Sometimes I go through phases where my inspiration spark is on overdrive. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night or be mid-way through a podcast episode or out on a walk and ideas feel like they’re flying at me from all directions.
Normally I’d say this is a GREAT thing. I mean, ideas are fun and plenty of people are begging for them to show up elsewhere in the world, so why is this my biggest problem lately? Because inspiration is a master at stealing my attention.
I’ll be working on a painting and deep in my flow state when an idea visits me, tugging gently on my hand and leading me away to a fairy land of imagination. Before I know what’s happening, I’m lost in future-land dreaming of what this idea could become, and I’m no longer there in reality with my painting. That’s my beef with inspiration lately: that it so skillfully robs me of the present.
So today, as I was noticing this, I thought: what’s a new approach I can take to staying focused on the task at hand? To being ALL THERE with the projects I’m currently working on.
That’s when I realized I need to fall in love with the work I’m doing. Whether it’s my 94th painting, or an e-course I’m re-launching, or an illustration project I started two years ago (all really examples), I need to find away to give them that new love glow.
There’s a reason they call it being “blinded by love.” It’s because when you fall in love, you’re ALL in it. You don’t have eyes for anyone or anything else. So today, I actually tried this. I tried to look at each of my projects as if it was new and enticing and miraculous and exhilarating the way that new love is. I tried to remember what it was that made me begin each one in the first place, and go back to that feeling I had when each one arrived to me as one of those sneaky, devilish ideas. To my surprise, it actually worked. It allowed me to stop wishing I was somewhere else, working on anything else, and to instead find warmth and satisfaction in the present state of things.
So that’s the way that I’m trying to approach my work, especially as I continue on with this year of “CURATION” and attempt “less, but better” projects. My mind may drift to children’s book illustrations and desk calendars and painting courses and affirmation card decks, but when I notice my eye wandering off, my new strategy is to pull it back by LOVING on the present.