There comes a point in any project cycle where, whether it’s for days/hours/ minutes/weeks/months/whatever, there is nothing you can do. You’re waiting on a collaborator, or a delivery, or a review, or a rejection letter, or something. You’re just waiting.
This is the only phase where I have a hard time getting anything else done. What I’m waiting for rattles around, screaming, eating all the valuable attention. And everything else rots. I conduct a train of a million projects but when one of them is Out Of My Control the whole engine halts. For some unforgivable- probably *artistic*- reason.
Currently I’m stuck waiting until October 5 for a critical piece of the not-so-secret- secret-project. For my typical project timelines, that’s a long waiting phase. And a long time to struggle getting anything else off the ground.
I am running the checklist. I’ll have you know I’ve clicked into the wealth of Google Drive novels and stage plays my teen year-old self drooled out. I even read them all- yes, all the way through. And I’ve been cutting and pasting all the potentially good bits into new word-salvage Frankenstein documents.
[Also I have been consistently participating in the job that actually pays all my bills. There’s that]
Been knocking out some small scale acrylic based illustrations to stay in practice… Tackled a few sewing projects…. Swept my floor…
It’s not nothing. But compared to the full steam ahead, wind in the sails, start your engines, absolute sprinting, creative high I can hit when the primary project is still 100% in my hands, it feels like nothing. And I have no half-baked thesis of twenty-two year old “wisdom” to offer as a remedy for the long periods of inevitable, uncontrollable waiting that feel like nothing.
Except the core impulse of dusting off those dead Google Docs. Research and Development: Find old ideas, old skill sets, reevaluate their potential, knock off a few of the infancy stages to get them rolling. It is work. And it’s preventative work to avoid the second worst phase of any project cycle: TERRIBLE DESPAIR DOOM CLIFF OF OH GOD IT’S FINISHED I WILL NEVER MAKE ANYTHING ELSE EVER AGAIN IM A FRAUD ITS A SHAM THIS IS ALL IM CAPABLE OF
So yeah, I’ve been reading books. I read two whole books this week for the first time in months. Pouring more juice in the crock-pot of “what comes next” so that when the waiting’s finally over, we’re back to cooking a few trains of thought at a time. Wish me luck getting back to my happy zone of chronic over-work.