They say the hardest thing to creating is to begin, but why is beginning such a challenge?
I struggle when I don’t know what to begin with, let alone how to begin. What should I write about?
I know I’m not the only one who gets stuck in the “I don’t know what to create” mindset. There’s a lot of pressure out there to create something of value, and so the focus of creation tends to be on the idea behind the work, rather than the process. There’s no point beginning if the idea sucks, right? So wrong. So, so wrong. Ideas are worthless. History is littered with bad pieces of art that began as great ideas, and amazing works that began as laughable. A hip hop musical about the founding fathers… really?
Any idea has value if there’s passion behind it. So throw away trying to find a good idea. Instead, ask yourself, ‘what are you passionate about?’. Oooh, that’s a pretty loaded question though. That sounds as impossible as finding a perfect idea. Okay, here’s a better one: ‘what type of work do you enjoy experiencing?’ Or, ‘what type of work do you wish you could experience?’.
It’s not exciting trying to create the thing you have no interest in, but it can be really appealing to do so if you think it will get you noticed, or be important, or popular; but it won’t be fun, and what is the point of being creative if you’re not finding any joy in it? Be inspired by the work that touches your soul, and create the work you want to see.
Inspiration is literally everywhere, but to find it you have to accept that you have your own taste, and that taste might not resonate with other people. Scratch that— it for sure will not resonate with some people, and that’s okay. There are people out there who hate Hamilton, and there are people out there who aren’t going to like whatever it is you’re working on. Don’t worry about it. Create the work you love to absorb. Be inspired by the work that moves you. It’s that simple.
And that hard, because we want people to like our work; we want to be liked. Worry not— your people, those people who will resonate with what you do, are out there. I promise they are there, somewhere. They may not have found your work yet, but keep creating it, and they will. Don’t muddle it up by trying to make work you don’t love for others. Let the things you love inspire you in your work. You got this.