Meeting Inspiration Halfway
[Inspiration] does not always respond to the first invitation. We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination.
— Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Sometimes as a freelancer, it can be very hard to remain productive without work from clients. When I’m busy engaged with clients, I have dozens of ideas about open source projects, business development, SaaS applications etc. But when I finally get a gap between engagements, it can be hard to turn those ideas into actionable points. I know I’ve hit the bottom of the motivation stack when I’m clicking through meme gifs on the frontpage of reddit.
As an engineer, I do my best work when I have a concrete problem in front of me that needs a solution in a hurry. Without that focussing effect, I find myself waiting for bursts of inspiration to fill my sails.
The antidote? “Believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination.”
Or, to hear it another way…
We just have to come in every morning and somehow, launch the editor.
— Joel Spolsky