life lessons from a dog (part 2)
django, my dog, and i were out walking again the other day, and in his typical puppy way, he kept stopping to sniff things. i mean really sniff them. he was doing some kind of puppy CSI forensic sniffing up in there. so i kept tugging on his leash to get him to keep up. but it gets harder and harder to get him to break out of his sniffy spell. so finally i called “django!”, and he came immediately.
now django is part alaskan malamute. it’s a sled dog. meaning he’s bred to pull things. so me tugging on his leash like a maniac probably seemed like a gentle breeze or annoying fly. i was trying to get him to respond the way i wanted him to, forgetting what would actually work for him.
it made me think about all the problems, creative or otherwise, that i’ve encountered over the years that i tried to force to work my way. it may be nothing, but it seemed like another good entry into the Tao of Django the Dog.
life lessons from a dog
the other day i was walking my dog, django (the d is silent), and he was lagging behind, sniffing things. he must have hit a particular delightful sniffy patch because he stopped completely, causing the lease to jerk. i tugged on it to get him to keep up. no response. i tugged harder. he resisted. then i got mad. in my mind he was being willful. so i yanked it hard. he snapped out of his sniffy spell and trotted up to me, tongue flapping out of his open mouth, and continued right past, as if nothing had happened.
for django, that was the end of it. he was smiley and happy and in the next moment. but i wasn’t. i was still angry. how could he be so willful and disobedient, i fumed. django had moved on, but i hadn’t. and now that was on me.
how many times did some jerk at the office say something insensitive. or the SUV that cut you off on the 405. or the person in front of you in the express checkout who clearly has more than 11 items. these things in life that wrong us. in most cases, they move on, but we can’t. we carry that anger with us for a while.
as i looked down at django’s cute little puppy face, looking around for the next thing to sniff, i felt that tiny revelation sweep over me.
okay, what the hell is my problem. why do i have so much trouble making stuff consistently? what are all the blocks that get in the way of me doing the thing i freaking love to do? it doesn’t make sense. i love making stuff! it’s my favorite thing to do. i love making things and sharing them. so why do i seem to have so much trouble actually doing it?
i don’t know which of my 100 ideas to work on. ok, legit. but this can be solved by making a post schedule (an editorial calendar) and ranking ideas. also by finding deadlines, or reasons to finish something, i.e. contests, festivals, etc.
i get overwhelmed by how much work it will take to do the whole thing. sure, i get it. but that’s why i do bite-sized things! 15 sec instagram videos. short loopy songs and music videos. art series that i can continually add to.
i think “what’s the point, who cares?” ok, i understand. but people do care. in fact i have thousands of people online who care what i’m doing. who want new art and music. make stuff for them.
i get discouraged by lack of sales or response. hmm.. this is tricky. it’s related to the above, but i addition to having people care about what i’m doing, i need to find out how to make a living making stuff.
the process is always the same: make stuff, share it for free, gauge response, have something available to buy, find places where there are more people who may like it, get them to share it, repeat the process with new and better stuff.
how do you guys deal with this? how do you manage to consistently create in spite of all the silly blocks?