Goals and Projects + Deadlines = Work

I know photographers who work without deadlines. Writers and artists, too. None of them make work consistently because nothing is due. It’s just a wish: “I’d really like to create a great _____. I want to be the best ever at _____.” Do you really?

You know how the successful ones, those who are recognized as the greats got there? By doing the work. Chipping away at more projects day after day. Every day.

I tell my students when I teach photography that I’d rather they pick up the camera for 15 minutes a day every day than try to figure it out once a week for two hours after forgetting how the settings work. A small amount of time adds up to a lot of work if we can commit to getting started every day.

That’s where the trouble lies. Getting started. It’s not as hard to do the work as it is to get started on the project. To get dressed and out the door. To go to work.

The Muse exists but she has to find us working. She doesn’t even bother coming around while we’re “thinking” of making work. Thinking does nothing. I know a lot of photographers, writers, and artists who are thinking all the time. Still no work.

When the sink is full of dirty dishes, it looks like something that’s impossible to tackle. I suggest doing the first dish. Once we get going, it’s easier to keep going. Getting started, that’s the hard part.

Check out Richard Pressfield’s The War of Art, which deals specifically with how to overcome this battle with the resistance we face every time we want to get started creating. It’s a common thing all artists face to want to procrastinate. To change the deadline. To take a nap or watch TV.

I would bet that those who are thinking a lot and not getting started, they don’t really want to be what they say they do. They like the idea of being done but not doing the work.

And that creates nothing.

One thought on “Goals and Projects + Deadlines = Work

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  1. Hi, Always enjoy you’re posts and this one was no exception – high time I gave myself a kick up the **** and got out shooting – thanks for the nudge! All best wishes, Andy


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