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Perfecting the Art of Patience

by Shane Mehling
creativity

patience

Sometimes working on a creative project seems like it takes forever. It can go on for months or even years to finish. And once we’re done, when we look back on all that time we’ve spent, it only seems fair that after a little break, you can start reaping the rewards of all that hard work.

And that is when things start getting worse.

Listen, we know the back-breaking labor you put into this — the long days of toil, the sleepless nights worrying if you were on the right path. We know how you probably put it away for a while but then decided to pull it out and try again. We know how much it feels like you have crossed a finish line and you’re now waiting for your medal.

But, when it comes down to it, no matter how truly great the accomplishment, if a reward ever does come, it may take a long, long time. You may be stuck trying to find an agent for the work, or even worse — you have the agent but no one else is biting. You may have a label that keeps coming up with excuses why your record hasn’t come out yet. Or that gallery which is promising to show your prints just keeps pushing back the availability.

It is the kind of interminable, tortuous waiting game that makes you wonder (again) why in the world you would ever spend so much energy getting your hopes up and again and again. And there is only one way to really overcome this. And some of you may find the cure worse than the illness: You have to get back to work.

Now, we know that this may be the last thing you want to do, especially when you are still exhausted from your previous project and finding your heart being used like a rag doll. But the waiting around, the rethinking, the trying to psychically force someone else to do your bidding ends up wasting time and we’re always on the hunt for those extra minutes.

If you have created something that, to you, is pretty much completely finished then it is now in someone else’s hands. That means your hands are free, and more willing to start something new than you realize.

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Shane Mehling

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.