The Artistic Process

(in my stupid experience)
  1. 1.
    You have an idea. It’s the best. You feel amazing. It's the most brilliant idea you've ever had. You're on top of the world. All other ideas are a distant memory. These ideas are what make life worth living.
  2. 2.
    You realize you have to do the idea. You plummet into the depths of anxiety. You can't. You could never. You'll die if you do it. Why did God burden you with such a great idea? You are distraught.
  3. 3.
    You do the idea. Maybe you work solo, and that’s very hard. Maybe you work with people, and that is a kind of hard you never see coming.
  4. 4.
    You finish the idea. You feel spectacular. What a good idea you had. And then you did it. Ha! You're such an idea machine. You walk on a sidewalk and you feel bigger than you felt last time you were on a sidewalk.
  5. 5.
    You realize you have to share your idea. Life has never been so terrifying. Everyone you love will disown you if they see your idea. You're a mutant rat alien. Why do you have such deranged ideas? You're a freak.
  6. 6.
    A lot of people say nice things, some people say nothing, and most people do not care. Most people are in Asia.
  7. 7.
    You feel relieved, then deflated, then anxious, then self-hatred, self-hatred, self-hatred.
  8. 8.
    Some time goes by, and you mellow out.
  9. 9.
    You shrug.
  10. 10.
    You put your chin back up.
  11. 11.
    You’re humble, and you have no idea if what you made was good or not.
  12. 12.
    You'll never know.
  13. 13.
    You shrug.
  14. 14.
    You count it a success.
  15. 15.
    You realize that steps 3 and 5 are brutal but also kind of the best.
  16. 16.
    You chuckle at yourself for getting so worked up.
  17. 17.
    We're all just ancient dust.
  18. 18.
    Sometimes you flop around these steps, up and down them, and sometimes they last an hour or a year, and sometimes it churns and twists and you feel like you’re wearing a tye-dye shirt made with blood and feelings on the inside of your skin.
  19. 19.
    Why do you put yourself through this?
  20. 20.
    You'll never know.
  21. 21.
    You shrug.
  22. 22.
    Life is a series of panic attacks and shrugs.
  23. 23.
    People say things to you about a “body of work” but you look back and you just see bodies.
  24. 24.
    You’ve worried a lot lately and you’re starting to notice that you haven’t had an idea in what feels like a long time. You decide you’re just going to keep your head down for a little while.
  25. 25.
    You get another idea. It's the best. It’s the most brilliant idea you’ve ever had. All other ideas are a distant memory. These ideas are what make life worth living...