I give up.

I give up.  All. The. Time.

Every time I start something new I think, “Is this working? This may never work. Maybe I should give up.”

And then I don’t. And then I work on it some more and get to a certain point and consider giving up again.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.ImHere

It’s kind of like how you feel when you attempt to grow out your bangs (or “fringe” for my non-US readers). You give up a million times and then one day you decide you will stick it out through all the phases from “more hair product “ to “odd head bands” to “I can finally tuck it behind my ears” to full on pony tail. And then of course, you look at some old pictures and realize that you really did look good in bangs/fringe and off you go to the hair stylist.

Yeah, it’s like that.

I muddle through the indecision and messy false starts and debate giving up oh, a dozen times a day. But then I sit back and try to look at things with a fresh eye and move forward.

Or right before giving up (again) I call Debi or Marianne or Abby or Niya or I take a walk with Jim and ask, “What do you think? Will this work?”

And usually (since they have all given up a couple dozen times that day too) we noodle through whatever it was that was making me think about giving up and I can move on.  There’s a difference between giving up and blindly moving forward. It’s the space in the middle that makes it work–the “oh, what if I tweak this or that or keep this and toss  that”  until you realize that you only need to give up on the bad parts–not all the parts.

That’s how creativity works. Ideas and plans don’t always move from one smooth transition to the next but through clunky processes, doubt, rethinking, and sometimes a gentle nudge from someone else. They need to bump into the status quo, push the envelope, bring something new to the table. There’s a reason there are all those clichés about creativity.

Because they are true.

So, yeah, go ahead and give up. You’re in good company.

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