In the studio this morning, I realized how important ritual is for me.
I get up in the morning and pretty much just grab my stuff and get myself here. I do best if I just make my body go, then think later.
I have breakfast here in the studio, I make coffee here, I do e-mails and all that here. I long ago learned if I didn't, it would be three hours out of the morning, and that the morning is my most productive time. (I am writing this in the morning!)
And even the things like the car drive to clear my mind, hanging the coat, turning on all the lights and computers, setting up my space. . . . the ritual of doing this gets me jump started.
I also light a candle, stretch, do a little yoga. . . . all of this gets my creative brain turned on - my brain has learned that this means it is time to create.
Ritual really helps me keep at it.
It is hard work, to face a blank book, a blank page, a blank screen, a blank canvas every day and keep at it, not knowing if the result will even be pleasing.
In fact, to be experimental and to find one's own personal voice in creative work means the exploration might mean lots and lots of failures.
But the failures aren't failures, they are steps toward success.
Thomas Edison said "I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work."
So this work involves belief in the process. Belief that it is worth spending time creating something new, even if it doesn't create income or fame or prestige, that it still is worth doing.
Now to face those blank pages. . . .
"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't."
--Henry Ward Beecher