Just for fun I decided to imagine creative projects as a landscape through which we journey. I made a map of what one journey to project completion (Fruition) might look like. Most ideas for creative projects start out as a spark, washed up or captured on the shores of the Sea of Imagination. A (not insignificant) portion of these sparks will not touch the road to Fruition, much less reach the great city of completed ideas – instead they will become lost in the Forest of Daydreams, flounder in Lake Procrastination, or end up in the Village of Forsaken Ideas. Personally, I love the feeling of a new idea – that time when creative energy is high and I haven’t yet understood the scale of the undertaking. I spend a lot of time loitering on the tidal shores of the great Sea of Imagination, perpetually in the honeymoon phase, with my back to the project landscape and the odyssey that awaits. Intention is easier than action, but still feels like movement. At least that’s what us loiterers tell ourselves as we lounge in Port Muse’s seaside resort or visit its art galleries and museums.
If you do finally venture forth on the Road to Fruition it’s important to remember to take regular breaks. There are opportunities to camp but also plenty of chances to get sidetracked. Sometimes these distractions are necessary and even helpful – but beware they don’t lead you completely astray – there is always a way back to the main road. There are scary times, boring times, and times when you want to take shortcuts – usually around the ¾ mark for me. On the map, shortcuts lead to False Finish Lake, Hoodwink or the Village of Impulse. These moments of wanting to impulsively finish a project occur regularly. If you do take those tracks, the project might seem complete, but it might also feel inadequate and there’s a lot of landscape you’ve missed. Fortunately you can backtrack and rejoin the main road at any time.
Before reaching the outskirts of Fruition, take time at Camp Clarity to gain some perspective. Do you have everything you need for the final leg of the journey, through the vast Conclusion Fields? If you make it to the Fields you’re going to be fine. Fruition is in sight, the odyssey is over.