Like Riding a Bike
Creative work is not like riding a bike. Even if we can execute the technique and go through the motions, the art and expression can easily evaporate from the work.
That is where I am as I listen to today's digs.
I struggled to get things in order. Maybe the order sucks, I don't know.
I even struggled with the workflow of creating the visuals and organizing files and stuff.
And I struggle to put words on the screen.
We operate under the illusion that some people don't go through these struggles. I think everyone does. Some of us are just better with getting on with the work.
About midway through the playlist you are going to hear some covers and interpretations of work by Madlib and the late J Dilla: two massively creative artists, both known for their work ethic and focus. (talk about being able to get on with the work...I'm not even going into the stories about Dilla making beats on his death bed.)
Even if you have world-class skills and you love the work you are doing, it is not always going to be easy to show up and do it. The technical aspects of creative work may be challenging, but they are never the hardest part.
The emotional part is.
The stakes we build around the work and our attachment to outcomes can make it hard to move forward. Paradoxically, the emotional struggle can get worse as we become more proficient and less of our attention is occupied by technique.
We get good and we create mental space around our work. We get "efficient."
The best thing we could do is leave this newly earned space clear and give ourselves room to grow. Instead we end up filling the space with fear, doubt, and distraction. We hide from the work by doing something safer.
Something more like riding a bike.