There’s this project I’ve been working on for years. I’ve taken breaks from it, sometimes very long, extended breaks, but I keep coming back to it. Keep tweaking, re-imagining, changing this detail or that one. A couple of times, I’ve all but wiped the slate clean and started anew. It’s the kind of project that has become a staple in my life – more than a decade of sweat, blood and tears poured into it with a very specific goal in mind. And more than once, I’ve come within arm’s reach of that goal. Gotten so close but never quite arrived. Felt the excitement, the blazing beam of light as the door to what I want opened before me, and retreated into the shadow of disappointment when one obstacle or another got in my way. And now, dear reader, I find myself back in that place. Once again, I’ve come so very close only to have been blocked, turned away, rejected. And once again, I find myself making a new game plan.
I am resilient, if nothing else. At no point have I seriously considered walking away. Every let down brings constructive criticism which leads to new ideas, a fresh perspective, an opportunity for growth. And I feel I’ve taken those opportunities, used them to my best advantage. I’ve been disappointed, sure. I’ve taken breaks and allowed time to clear my head. But I’ve always come back determined to get it right. And I do genuinely believe the project has become better, stronger, more focused and refined because of it.
I must admit, though, that I’m beginning to feel like this is a project that will never end. In a way, it’s good because I’ve reached this level of expertise with it that can only serve to make it better. At the same time, though, I’m growing tired of working on variations of the same project over and over.
More than anything, I feel like the end goal is within reach and all I need at this point is persistence. With every criticism and subsequent alteration, I feel like the project has only gotten better. As always, though, I am impatient to reach my goal. It’s weird; I’ve never felt more encouraged, more certain that what I want is not only possible but probable (if I keep at it). But at the exact same time, I’m weary of the whole thing, ready to try something entirely different.
So today I ask you, how do you find inspiration? How do you come up with the tireless kind of energy required to see something big, something that takes years to perfect, through to its completion? How do you, my dear reader, keep going?