Bob Lieberman's Blog

Commentary and Tools For Empowering Change

Going Round In Circles

I once wrote a song called Going Round In Circles. It was about a relationship that kept going over the same ground and not getting anywhere. I thought of that because of my experience during the last few days working through some new ideas. Not the not getting anywhere part, but the circles part.

It's tempting to look at the creative process as starting with exploration, producing something, and then going on to rest or whatever. But today I am reminded that the result doesn't usually come in one round. You usually have to produce something, rest and let it sink in, think about it, explore some more, and then produce some more. Which frequently looks like refining or replacing the first run's product.

This is good to remember because we tend to feel that resting with an incomplete product is the same as abandoning the work. Couldn't be more wrong. Forcing a result when rest is what's called for just produces an ill-fitting result that won't stand up well to reality. This is as true in relationships as it is in projects.

Sometimes stopping, or even giving up, can be beneficial and even essential to the creative process. It may look and feel permanent, but with an open mind you may find that it was as temporary as a good night's sleep.