Maybe this has happened to you before?
I recently made a specific commitment to my craft by painting something quickly everyday, for about a half hour. I started by finding a fascinating watercolour portrait, and decided to copy as best I could for 7 days.
The first day
Seemed pretty good. Following with swift brush and drawing from my previous knowledge and experience – and without expectation – I let the brush dance across the page.
Not great…but not half bad for the first try. And I allowed it to be so.
Then came Day 2.
Having analyzed the strokes, the light and the shade, things I had missed or seen, I vowed to improve. The result was orders of magnitude better.
Even my amazing husband (who thinks everything I do is wonderful and worthy of the Louvre) saw a remarkable improvement, and admired my ability to learn, connecting eye, hand and material for a painting that was impressively close to the one I was trying to copy.
It had emotion.
I was proud.
And it was only day 2!!!
How amazing was this going to be as I neared the finish line?
Then came Day 3…
Ah. Day 3.
Be it emotion, perhaps expectation… it resulted in one “start over” and alas….a finished painting that was indeed better, but much, much closer to Day 1 than I hoped.
I knew logically that there would be ups and downs. That the point of the exercise was to stretch my muscles, to feel and express the joy in painting. I also knew that there would be setbacks and vowed to keep my focus on the action and not the result…the 10 000 hours it takes to be a master.
But as it hangs there in my studio, I can’t help but scrunch up my face in disappointment. This happens with everything we do. Small and large. Whether committing to an exercise regime, learning to cook, or building our business. We feel somewhat deflated. Our enthusiasm wanes, even if just by a little.
Maybe it’s not Day 3. Maybe it’s Day 7 or Day 23…or Day 306.
SO what do we do???
There is only one thing to do. We do Day 4