I think it's common when you're pioneering a new way to do things to compare your process to other, established and seemingly more legitimate ways It's Been Done Before.
Take launching, for example. Some traditional joints have the process super dialed-in, and the timing and execution of the way they introduce new work to the world feels elegant and effortless. I have to admit to envying the polish and shine of it. The established way felt like the legitimate way to do it.
So we had the best of intentions for an elegant launch. I had a whole wall of the apartment papered with a big 12-month calendar. We had hopes that all the new work would be done by April, and that videos would be completed and posted 10 days ahead of time. We had all kinds of good intentions in this department. From mid-September until our production season ended (we were hoping in April), we were looking at six major releases: Telling Your Story, The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls, The Iconic Self, Ritual and Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self Care, Beauty Everywhere: A Portable Gallery, and The Gift of This Moment.
But my friends and I, as you may have gathered, do many things, of which these resources are just one part. We travel, we teach, we care for loved ones who fall ill. We are committed to our own growth and development, which requires our presence and attention, as well as time with our mentors, guides, and support people. Around January it became evident that keeping our schedule would require us to work in such a way that would be out of line with what we value. See, we can't teach about things like taking care of ourselves and being present with any integrity unless we are practicing them all along the way--and not just when deadlines are far away.
The primary piece of what my friends and I are committed to is not just making the work, but creating a new way to be in the world, even while completing our tasks. So we changed the schedule. We gave each project to come after a little more room to breathe and become. We took care of our souls and our bodies in the meantime, and kept our presence-promoting practices firmly in place. We imagined the introduction of a new work as not a one-shot opportunity to bomb the interwebs with ads and chatter, but as a conversation one simply begins, and invites others into, and expands collectively and organically over time.
The work will be done when it's done became the new motto.
There is so much yet to be done (believe me, the long list is never far from my mind), because the truth is, this is only the beginning. I'm trying to remember all I've learned this spring as I head into my summer, which I hope will be filled with lots of rest and maybe some short film-making. When the long list haunts me, I say, The work will be done when it's done.
And it is.