Making art sometimes means overcoming inertia.
According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, inertia is defined as:
“Lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed.”
Put another way, it’s super easy for us to just do whatever we’ve been doing, day in and day out. We get into habits. Going into work, coming home, sacking out in front of the TV. Day in, day out, year after year.
So when we get the bug in our heads (or hearts), nudging us to do something different – to make art, film that project, record the demo, start the business we’ve been dreaming about for months and years – we run right up to the edge… and then stop and go back to the couch.
Because, change. Change is hard. Change is weird. Change is uncomfortable.
Because, what if? What if I fail? What if it sucks? What if I do this new thing and I hate it?
I did that for years. Got up in the morning, zombied my way through morning coffee, getting dressed, going to work. Did my job. Came home and worked some more. I wasn’t bad at what I did. In fact, quite the opposite. I loved my friends and the things my paycheck could buy. But I kept wishing something would be different. But it wasn’t. It was the same. “Groundhog’s Day” over and over again. All that fear and negative self talk kept me doing my same ol’ same ol’…
Until one day…
… I realized I didn’t want my boss’s job.
… I realized I didn’t want to live in a place where I felt no sense of community.
… I realized I wanted to take less and give back more.
… I realized my way of living was making me sick. Literally.
… I realized if I didn’t make a change, my body would stop – and make the choice for me.
I started to feel like this guy…
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”
… I realized the only person who can architect the life and work I want to create is me.
Well, crap. There you go.
If I’m the person who can create the change I want and need, then I’m going to have to do something different to make it happen. It didn’t happen over night. It happened by degrees and over time. It started with little things like finding an inspiring book, and taking a class. And after I finished consuming all this information, it was time to start doing. Doing things like…
… creating that demo.
… making the website.
… sending out the e-mails and packets for consideration by clients, agents and other decision makers.
… writing that blog post.
… collaborating on that (theater, singing, film) project.
… writing that presentation or class for my students, clients and mentees.
Sigh. I’m tired already. Can I just go back to bed? No. No you can’t.
The voice in my brain still fights between “Hey, this couch is really nice. And look, Netflix has a new show!” and “Get up and do it already!” That’s just human nature for many of us. It’s a balance. And when we err on the side of taking action, we move forward on that dream. And overcome that pesky inertia.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments: What is the thing you are dying to do or try? What’s one thing you can do towards making this dream a reality, right now?