Starting is the hardest part

I sat down to start animating the final sequence for the new film and I started to feel the familiar antsy feelings- an inability to sit still- the desire to do anything else but sit still and start the work- it sort of makes you feel like a lunatic-

As Steven Pressfield describes in The War of Art- this is the resistance- its fear-

Why are we so afraid to start?

To start you need to make decisions- you will have to commit to something- and we feel fear because we're afraid we might make the wrong choice- we feel great pressure to NOT make a mistake-

I believe this is why its so hard to start something- because of all the pressure to not fuck up-

This causes most people to freeze up and quit- and let one of those distractions become their focus- their excuse to not do the work.

Starting IS the hardest part BUT once you commit and start moving forward the pressure starts to fade- it doesn't disappear instantly- it usually takes a day or two of full time working on something for me to rid myself of this pressure and fear-

Once you start on a path there's no more pressure because the commitment is made-

So my advice is- if you have adequately planned and prepared for the task- whatever it may be- AND don't let planning and preparing become procrastination of the "I'm not ready yet" variety- if you have prepared the best you can without being an OCD perfectionist psycho- the sooner you commit to a direction and start the better.

It might not be the right direction but by committing to it you'll figure that out- if it all stays in your head you'll just get lost in swirling indecisive thoughts and not move- you'll freeze up. So just commit to something and GO!

Its unbearably awkward and uncomfortable at times- like a million thoughts manifested as insects crawling all over your brain and under your skin and they're all doubting and laughing at you- imploring you to stop and do something else- ANYTHING ELSE.

These feelings are what has probably pushed a lot of writers and artists to alcoholism- they have to numb themselves to mask the fear to move forward- now I have a beer now and then but I don't allow it to become a crutch.

So just know that if you feel like a complete loser and inept idiot when you're trying to start something- thats just how it is- thats how I've felt and I've always felt- we just have to power through it.

There's nothing wrong with you so don't let those feelings try and single you out- just commit and move forward! The sooner the better!

Comments

  1. Yeah, I feel like this pretty much every day when I sit down to write. It takes about 300-500 words before I can clear the hump and get into the zone.

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    1. (just chimin in here)
      I've found a way for me to get over writers-block. might sound stupid and basic, but listening to music with headphones in a warm, but not snug environment seems to do the trick everytime

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  2. Yup. Same here. Though once I've done it a couple of days in a row, I start to get on a roll, so I can come home from work and just get shit done. And it's amazingly freeing to be able to do that. The other thing is, I used to obsess over how things looked, or how perfect something needed to get or whatever, now I just go "hey, that's passable, I'll improve on my next project!" and move forward.

    I really love "The War of Art," it's all kinda common sense stuff that you don't realize you're actually even doing until you read the book, then you go "well shit, that's me in a nutshell." Just having that knowledge is super awesome though, it gives me this feeling like I'm in the know, that as long as I just get stuff done, I'll be far better than anybody else out there because while they're talking about what would be cool, I'm doing what would be cool. Now if I can just get it down to an M.Strange pace, I'd get somewhere ^_^

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  3. Thanks alot man this helps abunch i have not been moving forward on my C4d animations at all, I finally started a good new music piece for you I was working on last night Ill get it to you asap- keep up the being an awesome filmmaker and an inspiration to us all

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  4. You summed it all up for me. Holy crippity crapple.
    I think now I have more inspiration to start after being in Japan the last two weeks. I can't wait to truly get things going because my plan is to move here and make a living with cartoons :)

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  5. Oh good. I thought I was fucking nuts the last time we started working on a movie. My main actor came all the way from California, and we went to get Taco Bell, and I only had two hundred bucks in my bank account, and I stopped the car in the middle of the parking lot and just started screaming and punching the steering wheel. He quietly asked me, "Do you want me to drive to the set?" I've been to war, and that was less stressful than trying to take on a film shoot with NO money whatsoever. And to think, we're gearing up to do it again, and I'm STILL broke. :/

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