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TCI Readers

In a recent weekly newsletter, we asked readers what made starting a new creative project challenging. From finding the courage to commit, to overcoming the fear that the project is not worthwhile, to making the time and space, readers shared many similar experiences. Click through to read some of the anonymous thoughts and wisdom shared by different people.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Worrying if all this effort is going to result in anything.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

The horrific realization that it will soon no longer be new.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

The crippling fear of “ruining” a promising little nugget of an idea.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

That nagging question, “What if this isn’t that life-changing idea?”

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Finding the courage to decide on exactly what elements to focus on.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Fear of having started too late (which leads one only to starting later).

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

The understanding that it may take years to reach a workable draft, only to realize it’s actually unworkable (or just plain bad).

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Fitting it into my routine. And focusing. The distractions of everyday life that can be harmful to new projects. Retaining precise focus can be very difficult.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

I think it’s the commitment. If I want to do something new, I am promising it a portion of my time. I don’t want to waste that time if I can help it, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Self doubt. When I’m starting something new, the hardest part is seeing all the benchmarks ahead without becoming overwhelmed by the question, “Is this even realistically achievable?”

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

The subconscious aversion to immersing myself in a project for fear of “time travel”—that feeling where you come out of the zone for a minute only to realize that you’ve been there for hours… or days.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Accepting that you’ve moved on from what you just made. I worry that I’ll mess with songs forever and they will never be constants. So in a way, starting something new is about cutting yourself off from the last project.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Not letting it just be an experiment. It’s hard to just try something new without spending a lot of time thinking about it, making it look good, and all that. I want to get better at just letting things ride out, and seeing what unfolds.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

Deciding what to focus on. I can easily drift into so many different topics, even when studying just one object, event, or emotion. The hardest part is to filter out what I think is important and what’s not, and then decide if my decision is correct. There’s a constant doubt about whether I chose the right path.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

All the other things I want to be doing. It seems that the creative spirit is like going to the supermarket for one thing, and then being confronted with hundreds of variations of that one thing. I’m always thinking, “Maybe I should have done this other thing.”

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

The hardest part about starting something new is JUST FUCKING STARTING. To not put it off for the “right time” or to not waste too much time thinking it through, because then, for me, the energy fades and before I know it all motivation and excitement has completely evaporated.

What’s the hardest part about starting something new?

The hardest part of starting something new is clearing a space for the new thing to fill. Or, more concretely: putting aside other things, saying no, abandoning something stalled, staying off Twitter, leaving work. Sometimes the hardest part of starting something new is killing off the last something-new you started, if it’s not going anywhere.

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