Last weekend I went on my first hike here in Colorado. I made a wrong turn on the drive. Then, when I got to the parking area, there was a long line of cars. I discovered I needed $10 – cash only – to park. I didn’t have the cash, or the patience to wait. So I parked where I was. It looked like I’d just have to walk a couple of extra miles. No biggie.
But...I took another wrong-ish turn, and so instead of walking two extra miles, I walked three. By the time I arrived at the trailhead, it was late. Too late to summit, probably.
But the weather was perfect, and I was excited, so I started up the mountain. I felt a spring in my step, despite the thin air. And a few hours later, I was on top of a 13,300-foot peak. The weather had held. The view in all directions was stunning. I studied the map and the landscape. I took pictures. I blissed out.
There were so many points in this hike when I could have decided to turn around: when I made wrong turns, when the parking situation surprised me, when the altitude walloped me. Or, I could have just never started – I was too late, after all. So many ways to stop myself, or never start. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to any of them.
Next January, when the first season of Threshold is done, I’m guessing I’ll feel the same way.
At the start of a project, or even part-way through it, every little mishap can feel like a reason to quit. One of our key tasks as makers is to resist that urge.
This thing we call creativity? A lot of it is just stubbornness.