The Dry Zone
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” —Stephen King
Starting something new it’s easy. You have been thinking about this project for quite some time, maybe even holding back until you were 100% sure. So you have this backlog of plans and ideas, even if they are half thought out, they are there in the back of your mind. They might be just early, early seeds of ideas, but it is all there.
So one day you start. And you have all this energy. And all those ideas that have been slowly cooking in the back of your mind take shape. And you produce and feel productive. And for a while it works out.
But then, routine settles. The fountain of ideas dries up. Then reality hits you, the well has dried up. This is what I call the Dry Zone. This one single thing is the biggest struggle—by far—of any creative mind. After a quick and exciting start you’ve lost your momentum and your energy is depleted. All you are facing the long road ahead. And you ask yourself, now what?
Beginnings are easy because they offer something our minds are always excited about: change. The Dry Zone, though, is the opposite of change. Is routine, stagnation, monotony. Change does happen, but it is excruciatingly slow.
Now what? Hard work.
Crossing the Dry Zone is the real challenge of any artist. The real challenge of any new project. Looking ahead at the Dry Zone, all the eye can see is work. Don’t abandon here. Do persevere in the face of monotony and know that the Dry Zone separates beginners from pros.
“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true–hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” —Ray Bradbury