You Let the Project Go

Today I learned something so vital about creativity: you constantly create and then let the project go into the world.

Letting the project go means you stop trying to recreate, evaluate, or worry over it. You fully immerse yourself into a book or another kind of creative work, and then at some point, you end it. You close the book and move on to the next thing.

I remember the best advice I received from PhD program mentor when it came time to begin my dissertation. She said, “At some point, you stop researching, you write the dissertation, and you move on. It might not be your best work. You might not even publish it. But you’ll finish it. And then, you’ll move on to so many other books and projects.”

That day, I developed dual vision: I could see this one project, but I could keep a sharp eye for what would come next.

Her words helped me exit the dark side of creativity—the quicksand that keeps you endlessly considering ideas without ever landing on one, that sinks you into believing this one project must be everything, and that devours your imagination by making you think this is your only chance.

You’ll do so many wonderfully creative things. This one thing is just the beginning, and it doesn’t have to be everything. You invest all of yourself for a time, but then you close the project, release it for the world, and then start on your next idea. This way, you always have room in your heart and mind for fresh breezes of brand new adventures.

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