Yesterday, I gave a brief overview of Little Bets, by Peter Sims, and in it I referenced architect Frank Gehry's wry advice when he and his design team got stuck on a project: "Let's look at it for a while and be irritated by it."
I went looking for the documentary from which this quote comes, and lo! it is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vYt2SQPqTh0
The very first words of the documentary, Sketches of Frank Gehry, between filmmaker Sydney Pollack and Gehry, are perfect:
POLLACK: Is starting hard?
GEHRY: You know it is.
I don’t know what you do when you start but I clean my desk.
I make a lot of stupid appointments that I make sound important.
I’m always scared that I’m not going to know what to do.
It’s a terrifying moment.
And then when I start I’m always amazed, well that wasn’t so bad.
Ain't it the truth?
Or perhaps you haven't learned this truth yet. Starting is hard. Rather, you know that starting is hard, and you allow it to keep you from starting. And so you get stuck in TASK AVOIDANCE, because you're scared, like Frank Freaking Gehry, that you're not going to "know what to do."
Of course you don't know what to do. You're Making the Thing That Is Not, and there are an infinite number of ways that can end in disaster, failure, shame, and recrimination. No one knows "what to do."
That's why, before you begin, you label your work as an ABORTIVE ATTEMPT. It's going to be a disaster, and you're OK with that.
Or, in the vernacular: