Too Many Choices 10-15-2022

Hello Friend -

Too many choices.

That’s where I’m at.

It’s not a feeling of overwhelm, because overwhelm typically means that you have to get everything that is on your plate done.

Rather, I’m currently in a creative rut that I often find myself facing in which I have a list of projects that all look fun. The problem with this is that I am a prime example of the Paradox of Choice in action.

Once I get started on a project, I can usually stay hooked up and maintain momentum until something comes along and breaks my focus. Small interruptions are generally fine, but if I get derailed for more than a couple of days then it becomes very hard for me to get back into the swing of things on whatever project I was working on.

I often combat this by using little productivity tricks like Don’t Break the Chain!, but life happens. There are simply some things that are out of my control.

And that’s what has recently happened. I’ve gone through a few weeks of just being too busy with other things in life to maintain momentum on the few things I was focused on.

The chain was broken.

So, here I am back at the bottom of the hill trying to climb the mountain and get the chain going again.

Typically, when I’m at this stage of a creative cycle, the only way I can get myself refocused and excited again is to literally go to our shop, stand in front of the whiteboard, list out all the project ideas that I have and their various statuses, and re-convince myself that a specific project is worth focusing on in lieu of all the others (working on multiple projects at the same time would be a disaster for me).

Sometimes I’ll start back on the project that I was previously working on. Other times, I jump ship to a completely different project.

I fully admit it’s a schizophrenic cycle. I used to beat myself up over it all the time because it never felt like I could get anything done. What makes it worse is that I have an extremely wide range of interests, so I’m always fighting “shiny object syndrome.”

But, over the years I’ve somehow managed to publish four books, a newsletter, write a screenplay, and have a handful of unpublished manuscripts that are over the finish line despite all the detours that my mind likes to take.

As such, I’ve learned that it’s a process that I’ll just have to embrace until my mind decides to operate differently.

I’m comforted in the fact that I know I’m not the only writer who faces these types of problems. The good news is that I’ve been through this dance enough that I know that I’ll eventually break through and get something over the finish line…just gotta trust the process.

So, talk to me…

Creative ruts, cycles, or whatever you want to call them….

How do you operate and manage to get projects over the finish line?

🌐 Around the Web

Here are a few links, videos, and sites that I came across this week that I thought you might find interesting. 

🔗 The Thorny Problem of Keeping the Internet’s Time

🔗 Scientists Claim to Have Discovered the “Secret Ingredients for Building Life”

🔗 White House gardener marks 50 years tending 500 trees on 18 acres

🔗 Black holes can’t trash info about what they swallow—and that’s a problem

🔗 Archaeologists Dig Up 1,400-Year-Old Native American Canal in Alabama