Yesterday something happened. I hit a milestone I’ve been pursuing for months, perhaps my whole life. I declared the rough draft for a book, finished. I printed it out, shut my computer and picked up our kids. I’ve been told that getting out that first draft is a big deal. I suppose it is, in a way. But I am also aware of how much more work I have to do before it enters the world. It was a moment that came and went unceremoniously. Just another day.
I know what my end goal is and I know that I want to do it, but at this point the book feels a lot more like chaos than art, more like confusion than clarity.
Life Is One Big Rough Draft
That’s kind of the way it goes, isn’t it? We enter into life-things such as a career, marriage or parenting with some distant, vague goal in mind.
Most of the time life feels more like chaos than art, more like confusion than clarity. And the little mundane steps along the way pass by unceremoniously. Just another day.
But if we stop when things feel mundane and get chaotic, we won’t get anywhere meaningful. If we see how “rough” our rough-draft-of-a-life is and just stop writing our story, we effectively box up our voice and set it to the side. And it becomes irrelevant.
In his book Creativity, Inc., Pixar CEO Ed Catmull discusses why it is necessary to move with purpose through the creative process, “Early on in the production of a film, chaos reigns. The bulk of what the directors and their teams are doing is not cohering, and the responsibilities, pressures, and expectations are intense. How, then, do you move forward when so little is visible and so much is unknown?”
Moving Through The Chaos
You move forward in the chaos of life because if you don’t, you’ll get stuck in it. Your life will pass by while you stand there whining, complaining or seething.
But that’s not you. You want more than to sit to the side, paralyzed by the chaos. You want to make a difference for someone, even if it’s difficult to do. So you courageously work your tail off to dig deep and search around inside the real you for the thing that you most want to say and do in each moment because you want your voice to be a true representation of who you are.
You may feel like your life is a rough draft right now. But someday you will be able to look back and see beauty in the chaos you’ve moved through. Someday you’ll see your life as a work of art.
Just keep moving.