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The #1 Thing NOT To Do When You Start A Project

A friend of mine got a great idea for a screenplay. She was excited about it. She had a sense of what it was about, mentioned it to her friends, did her research and started writing

But soon after, she got stuck.

Another friend got an idea for a new blog and told her friends about it. She had a catchy name for the blog and a great logo. She wrote her first blog post and then . . . you guessed it, she got stuck.
What happens when we start talking about the project we want to do when we’re just starting?

We let the air out of it.

A project in its early stages is like a seed: a tiny, baby seed that needs preservation and nurturance. After all, we don’t take our newborns out into the world and let everyone touch them. We keep them swaddled, protected.


Don’t tell anyone any details about your project idea in the beginning. Instead keep it close to your heart.

Plant the seed, but shelter it and keep it away from the elements.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that our projects should become SO precious to us. That can ALSO block us.

But too often, when we speak about things, we get feedback.

All feedback is “bad” feedback in the beginning.

If someone says,

Wow! That’s the greatest idea I’ve heard in a long time!
It’s so funny!
This is sure to be an Oscar winner!

Then, the pressure’s on to make it so. That pressure can be stifling.

If someone says,

You know, that’s a good idea, but what if you did so-and-so here in the story…
That reminds me of this other (fill in the blank) I saw…

Or ANYTHING negative at all …

We can get blocked.

And the worst thing is, when we don’t care what anyone else says about it, but we put pressure on ourselves.

Staying out of our heads (and talking about a project can put us there) we stay in the flow of the creative current.

Feedback causes us to lose the fresh, uninhibited, raw energy that comes with the vulnerability of any beginning.

This goes for everything we begin. Not just creative projects: the house renovation, the career move, even relationships.

Like, when we tell our friends about a new person we’re dating and suddenly everyone starts having an opinion or asking questions and we lose the fun and discovery of it all.

Keeping our seeds to ourselves allows for safe exploration. We carefully respect the unfolding of the unknown with NO influence. And we allow the organic to unfold.

Conserving and respecting the energy, we hold a sacred space for the seed to sprout and grow.

May your dreams grow and prosper this week!

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Lynn Newman