Self-Care for Writers (and Other Obsessive Creatives)

The Gap Between Ideas and Execution

My perpetual creativity and brainstorming abilities are two of my greatest gifts—and banes.

It’s as if the continual ideas in my neural net branch out into a million snowflakes, each glistening with exhilarating potentials.

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Photo by Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

When I’ve had a cup of coffee (or more), those snowflakes turn into quite the brain blizzard.

And so the snow came again today.

I pulled out a half-empty notebook, one of dozens tucked around the house. I couldn’t help but smirk when I turned to a page where only one line was written (one of my “wise notes to self” that I tend to ignore):

There is a gap between idea and execution,
and it’s filled with work and discipline.


I have several written books under my belt (the last, over 106K words), not to mention deck projects and other creative triumphs.

And yet, somehow, I seem to “forget” the oft excruciating butt-in-chair grind of putting words on paper, sacrificing time, marshalling resources and organizing details.

There’s an old aphorism that women keep having babies because they “forget” the pain of childbirth—the joy of delivering, meeting and nurturing a new life magically erasing the agony and distress of the birthing process.

I guess that’s what we creators experience, too: high on the excitement of crystallizing ideas and the anticipation of massive snow forts, ice castles and breathtaking ski jumps, we choose to ignore—if only for a moment—what happens in the gap that makes it all possible.

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Photo by Kalle K on Unsplash

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