Momentum is crucial, and when you’ve got it, you’ve got it and when you don’t, you don’t. Lack of momentum is why the wheels come off most New Year’s resolutions by February, why projects get abandoned and ideas get filed permanently in the someday folder. I started this blog 12 years ago (officially in february) – my first official post was titled momentum because I felt like my creative life, my personal creative life was in the someday folder.
12 years later I still work hard to maintain my momentum and occasionally I lose it and find myself in the doldrums. It happens for lots of reasons, failures, discouragement, disappointments, obstacles or plain old fatigue but most often it’s because I’m feeling overwhelmed, overwhelmed with tasks, or choices or possibilities, overwhelmed with indecision, overwhelmed with all that isn’t done. When I lose it the only fix is action. Easy to say, so hard to do. Inertia is so heavy and oppressive, but there are a couple things I say to myself that do help when there is no wind in my sails:
it’s easier to keep going than to start
Just telling myself that helps immensely. And it means two things for me – it’s smart to make it part of my day to do things that keep momentum alive, basic things like structure and habits that support forward motion, even very small things, done consistently help a lot. And when I do find myself dead in the water I need to take some small action (it can be really small) – just start – bust out of the inertia. I posted a while ago about getting stuck and ways to get past it here.
my best work is ahead
I believe this and it saves me, I just need to remind myself once in a while. It makes me not quit and helps me live and act in uncertainty. It pushes me to let stuff go, take the next step and try new things. I feel like I’ve barely gotten started and I’m so curious about what’s next, its a powerful reason to keep moving, to get through storms and doldrums, to see what’s around the next corner. If I quit I’ll never know.
note : I’ve been updating and reposting some of me big creative year posts from 2015. They are ideas that are very much on my mind as I start the new year. I’ve got big plans and apparently I find myself very inspiring. This is one of my favorites from the series.
Immensely helpful, Ann! I’m going to bookmark and read this over and over.
Really hit the nail on the head ~ I deeply resonate with your quandary, you described exactly how I feel more often than not! Thank you for putting it into words and providing some helpful inspiration.
Wow! that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. I shall take your words to heart, and get on with things. Thank you. Blessings
Thank you! This is like a hug on a dark day!
Oohhhhh, I love that: “My best work is ahead.” Thanks Ann!
Just perfect….. Needed that! Thank you…
“the only fix is action.” True in life. True in Art. Thank you for your thoughts on your experience. I find this very helpful.
So good to know that I am not the only one who struggles with momentum and that when I do a little bit late at night. I am at least still going. Thanks!
Thank you, Ann. In a past post you spoke of the fear of being disappointed and disappointing. It is that dread of disappointing myself and someone out there that can paralyse me and yet work I feel most anxious about appeals most powerfully to some people when it is done.
Your work nourishes the soul of many of us.
I find myself stuck when I have many choices. My brain doesn’t seem to stop with creative ideas. I then burn out because I cannot decide what to start first.
This really resonates with me. Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you for this lovely and thoughtful post, Ann. Momentum is a precious commodity, one that is easy to take for granted until it is lost. Keep movin’ on!