Do you ever get really excited about something and then…not do it?
I'm not talking about when long projects drag on. I'm talking about when you get so excited about something, that you can't stop thinking about it while you wash the dishes or walk the dog or drink your first cup of coffee.
And then you sit down to work and…
You check your email.
You write that guest post.
You answer a few questions and schedule a few tweets.
But you're still! so excited! about the project!
But…you're not working on it?
That happens to me too.
In fact, it's happening to me right now.
I'm working on a Holiday Sanity Playbook (it's based on this annual, beloved class). And it's the most excited I've been about anything in a long time. It's going to come with stickers. And ribbon. In your mailbox (if you're into that.)
I'm not working on it right now.
I'm writing this, because I realized I was doing everything else, instead of working on it.
And I know you do the same thing, too.
You have a fabulous idea for a new line, a new business card, a new story.
But instead, you answer questions, pack orders, make another thing.
It's not that you're procrastinating work…it's that you're savoring the perfect thing.
You see, while my idea is still in my mind – it's perfect. It's lovely, exciting, delicious and…imaginary. Imaginary things are perfect because the real world hasn't spoiled them. My imaginary Prince Charming didn't leave his socks around the house. My imaginary home never smelled like onions and garlic after I made dinner (it smelled like chocolate chip cookies and chai lattes). And my imaginary Playbook is clever, hilarious, colorful and gives each reader exactly what they need.
But no one can enjoy my imaginary life, so I have to make it real. I marry the guy with the socks because he's hilarious and adorable. I rent the tiny house because it has great light. And I make the real life product because it will help real people, not just imaginary ones.
In the process of bringing it into the world, it'll lose some of its luster.
I won't find the right word.
I'll argue for far too long with Photoshop.
I'll discover I printed something upside down.
But it will exist. And a real chocolate chip cookie tastes far better than an imaginary one.
Just acknowledging this: that I love it so much I want it to perfect helps. Just noticing that I am putting it off because I love it so much helps.
In fact, I think I'm ready to work on it!
What are you imagining today? What tasty thing wants you to whip it up and put it in the (metaphorical) oven.
Why haven't you? What are you afraid of getting not-quite-right?