On impatience, and building something new

Start where you are. Use what you have.

I’m trying to let this lesson sink in, but it’s taking its time. I’m impatient by nature, and can be a bit of a perfectionist about certain things (photos, magazines layouts – yes. hoovered floors, tidy kitchens – not so much). Which makes it tricky to start something from scratch.

And this year, I’m starting from scratch in lots of ways. New city, new ideas, new projects.

Feeling the itch to start a new project is a great impulse, an exciting one. And yes, I want them to be the best they can be. I want them to be ready for the world now, signed, sealed and delivered. But you can’t make a great tomato sauce in 10 mins (or, if you can, please tell me your secret). Some things need to simmer and stew, and percolate. You need to wait – for dots to join up, the dots need to be there to begin with.

And you also need to not be afraid to just dive in and hit go, which can be so daunting. You can’t compare your starting line with other people’s photo finishes, and yet we do. And while there is beauty and magic in the potential, it can also hold you back. I read this brilliant quote from Craig Mod in the latest issue of Offscreen:

“One of the greatest dangers to any creative project is allowing the potential for the thing to subvert your ability to make it, because you want to live in a world of potentiality for as long as possible. A book is always greatest before it’s written. You are intoxicated by what it can be. That’s very dangerous. You want to kill those seductions as quickly as possible….”

So that’s where I am right now – hovering in that space between the exciting potential of it all, the necessary time, energy and work it needs, and the urge to hit go.

Top: Beautiful illustrations and gifs by Portuguese illustrator Amalteia.


  • Story of my life Nathalie, over and over.

  • Raechel Lambert

    Hi Nathalie! Great post, I’m in a similar boat working on a personal creative project but gave myself a deadline and then told the internet about it so I would stick to it. Good luck!

    • Oh that’s really exciting, congrats Rae! Looking forward to checking it out 🙂

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