All the pretty projects

There wasn’t enough room in a tweet for me to answer @empire_of_dust fully and I didn’t feel like chopping up my words.

New ideas are so full of potential. They are pure, as yet untarnished by our clumsy failures, as artists, to bring them forth into the world.

For every work I’ve finished, there are dozens of aborted beginnings on my hard drive, in notebooks beside my bed, on the shelves above my desk, left fallow in cabinet drawers.

I begin. And then I stop because the shape of the thing I am trying to create—I can see it in my mind—seems too much for me. I think to myself, “I love this so much, I can’t make it now. Not yet. I’m not good enough. I will make this someday, when I am a better writer.”

Then I start a new project with an idea I don’t love. I think, “This is a good idea, but I do not love it. It will not crush a piece of my soul if I fail to make it what it could be. This will be practice for the art I’m going to make from the ideas I love.”

Sometimes I grow bored with what I am making and I think, “Why am I wasting my time working on something I don’t love?”

Sometimes I slowly fall in love with what I am creating until I can see it in my mind, all grown up and beautiful. Then I think, “I love this so much, I can’t make it now. Not yet. I’m not good enough. I will make this someday, when I am a better writer.” 

For context, this is the tweet that started the conversation: