There’s an unusual and contradictory feeling that comes over you when you set out to achieve your goals, no matter how desperately or joyfully you desire their completion—fatigue. You contemplate the task at hand (the larger or more complex, the worse the feeling), and you just… don’t want to do it. You think about ways to avoid it, make it easier, and this is when you are most vulnerable to giving up altogether.
But while it feels like doubt or boredom or a lack of quality in what you’re trying to do, it’s actually something much more insidious—intimidation.
This feeling can strike at any time, whether just starting out or nearing the finish of a project, and it can disguise itself in any number of ways. For me, in a recent moment, I felt an overpowering sense of fatigue, impatience, and dissatisfaction. It made me want to give up and work on something else, or take an easy route out.
Instead, I suggest waiting. Think about your options, but don’t do anything… and then, when you feel a bit inspired or perhaps just more open, start slow. Take the first few steps, no pressure, no expectations. You can always fall back on the “easier” options later (such as a shorter version of the project, or a different project).
But this feeling of intimidation is just a form of resistance, which for whatever reason plagues artists as they set out to do what they love. It doesn’t make much sense, for I can’t think of too many jobs where there is so much fear for so little reason (surgeons, who have lives in their hands, I would understand being afraid; but fear of writing poorly when by yourself?).
Take it one step, one scene, one line at a time. Don’t feel bad if you still feel intimidated and don’t go running off in victory, if you still have to push yourself.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”—Jack Canfield.
The problem is figuring out how that fear disguises itself, and where it’s coming from. The feeling of fatigue and impatience is just fear, and it comes from being intimidated about the amount of work you have ahead of you (even if it isn’t all that much, it feels like a lot).
Just start. Just keep going, as slowly as you need to. That’s the only way to win. 🙂