Not Today.

There is an idea. It’s been thought about, considered, deemed worthy of further exploration. It may not be the net great thing, or it may be, but there is time to begin. The project may not even get finished. It happens once in a while, after all.

But for now it’s a go, and…

I don’t start.

Obviously, I start projects on a regular basis, even if I am not the most prolific writer out there. But I have the novel, the short story collection, Project Beta from this summer, my mystery, a draft of a play, a one man show that I perform. And so on. I get things done, in other words. I’m not a loafer when it comes to such things.

And yet…sometimes it just doesn’t feel like the “right day” to start something that I know I will eventually start. Three such projects exist in that state now, within my head, without action thus far.

I have had an idea for a short story collection for the better part of this year, and I know I will at least begin it. But for whatever reason, any given day so far has been, “not quite right.”

This isn’t even “waiting for the muse” which in general a writer can’t afford to do on a regular basis. But the muse has already come with this idea, so to speak. I just, haven’t started it.

Same with a few other things, even as I work on different things.

What is this mythical “correct day” to start one project, when another didn’t seem to require one? Can it be called true procrastination? Maybe. I’ve read that most creative procrastination is actually fear. Am I afraid to start any given project? I suppose there is a bit of that in any artist for any project sometimes. Yet I am obviously not afraid to work in general on my projects, as the number of completed or in-progress examples would attest to.

Truth be told, I can’t claim to be 100% sure what I’m putting off certain things for. in a sense it would be easier to answer this question if I was working on nothing at all. Thankfully, that’s not where I find myself, but that leaves me with this minor mystery.

Previously, I have given myself a deadline to start/finish a project when I have felt like this, and it may come to that again. But lately I have tried to ease up on self-imposed deadlines a bit. (See also, Project Beta.) I don’t want to beat myself up over deadlines all the time, after all.

As with so many such things, the key to getting past this situation is to just start already on at least one of the new ideas. Maybe that’s it..I’m not sure which is most ripe at the moment for initiation. (And I don’t believe in working on half a dozen things at once, either, or else I’d go ahead and start everything this weekend.)

Of course, it will get started. Any project idea that has gotten past the first few mental checkpoints will at least get started.

Such is my process, I suppose, at least periodically. I should be easy on myself. Beating myself up over it will of course do nothing for my creativity. (Nor for your own, if you tend to punish yourself for lack of productivity.)

So I’ll work with whatever the nature of this foot-dragging is for the moment, until it runs its course and I start one of the new things.

I just wish that moment had already arrived by now.

Do you ever feel like this before starting a project that’s otherwise ready to go?

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