M.L. from St. Louis, Missouri asked, "I have many ideas for projects but have trouble getting started. Any suggestions??"

Dear M,

I would not presume to know what makes you tick, but one recurring issue for many creative people is the “what-ifs”. What if it doesn’t turn out like I want it to? What if no one likes my idea/project? What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if no one likes me after they see my creation? What if people find out that I’m not creative at all? Will I have enough time to complete it right now? The list could go on and on.

I’ve found that asking myself why I want to do this project is the main way to eliminate many of the what-ifs, thereby helping me to get started. Am I doing it because I will find joy in the making of it? Am I trying to design something that I want to sell, making it very important for the masses to like it? Am I solving a problem, so that failure is not the end but merely a step in finding an answer? When I figure out what the purpose is, I can rid myself of many of those what-ifs and try to deal with the ones remaining.

Another helpful tactic is to set a deadline. It may be an imaginary deadline where I am the only one holding me responsible! But, I try to honor my own deadlines as much as I would honor a deadline to an employer or a friend! Be honest about the time it will take to complete the project so that you don’t sabotage your own deadline. If necessary, break the project into stages with deadlines for each stage. Baby steps to completion!

Thanks for asking!  Lynnette Schuepbach

Lynnette is an author/illustrator who sees creativity in every aspect of life. To find out more about her and creativity, visit her Web site KidsDoRead.com.  Her children’s books create curiosity in children and speak to sibling rivalry and bullying.

Lynnette serves as chair of Art in the Park on the second weekend of October at the Lindendale Park in Highland. Many local artists will be exhibiting there. It’s her pleasure to be a part of this opportunity for you to experience “World Class Art in a Hometown Atmosphere.” More info at www.highlandartscouncil.org.


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