False Labor and Fresh Starts

Well, I suppose as The Idea Midwife™, I should have recognized the signs. They are so easy to see with other people’s creative births. The telltale indicators of a false labor. The enthusiastic declaration “This is it! Now is the time for the big push to (finally) get my creative idea out there. I just know it!” Then some frenzied pushing, accompanied by a rather emphatic denial of the fact that there are no diapers in the house and the nursery is in disarray. All of this followed by…nothing. I’ll say it again, the creative process has its own wisdom and its own timing.

I think false labor in the birth of creative ideas is, in fact, an invitation to notice what really needs to be done to support your creation in the world. Now, I’m not talking about having everything figured out and arranged just so. If you wait for that the world will never have the benefit of your brilliance. A false start tells you that you are on the path and getting close, so now is the time to take care of the one or two critical things that your idea needs in order to thrive, which you have been putting off.

So, while I was stuck in the mud waiting for that friendly farmer I mentioned last time, I decided to ask my business what it needed. Here’s what I learned: my business taught me that it wants to be born. It wants a real birthday, a moment of realization — an undeniable indication of commitment to its existence rather than some vague morphing from what came before. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, my creative business wants the opportunity to become Real.

OK. I can do that.