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I always suck when I first start creating, and it makes me want to quit

Excavating

EXCAVATING@2x

The Context

Gilmore famously said that golf requires goofy pants and a fat ass. But the reality is, golf simply requires a ton of practice. Daily devotion to doing the work. That’s the only real way to achieve any kind of permanent success with your swing. Without that level of repetition, you’ll never commit that skill to muscle memory. You’ll perpetually hit shanks at the driving range. You’ll become so frustrated that you’ll quit playing the game before you even get chance to hit the lynx and shoot par. And you’ll inevitably wind up in the clubhouse, drinking a craft beer, watching the pros crush it on television, wondering why you’re not as good.

The Tool

two color

Excavating

EXCAVATING -- Clearing the surface level content out of your system to allow quality ideas to emerge

It’s like rolling a boulder up a hill. If you stop pushing too early, it’s just going to roll back to the bottom. And by the time you get there, there’s no way you’re going to feel like schlepping that boulder all the way back up. So you just give up. Interestingly, the creative process works in the same way. If you don’t spend enough time practicing your craft, you’ll never dig deep enough below the surface to unlock your finest expressions. You’ll just assume that the output you came up with in your meager burst of creating was the best that you could do. And you’ll judge yourself as a mediocre artist.

You just have to trust that there's an ocean of oil under your feet. I'm a big fan of writing and writing and writing until I get something good. Letting the shanks, the crap, the not so good material come out first and swirl into the drain. This allows me to release it without committing to keeping it. Eventually, once I've found my rhythm, the groove and the tempo of your creative nature, and once I stop pumping out cold and murky water and start releasing the hottest, the excavation digs down to find the gold.

The Rest

When the reality is, had you just stuck with it for another twenty or sixty or ninety minutes, you might have actually uncovered something special. Had you kept pushing the rock up the hill, kept hitting buckets of balls until the driving range turned off the lights, you might have actually found a swing that was worth playing with. Are you quitting because it’s hard, or because it’s right?

The Benefits

Build greater momentum in your daily creative practice
Unlock your finest expressions that live underneath the surface
Effectively push through the early stage frustration of creating
Deepen your humility, trust and gratitude for the art making process

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