March 20, 2019

The fog

NYC foggy skyline

I like the initial stages of a project when I start to meet stakeholders and users.

I like the initial fear and I expect it.

Recently, I started connecting this to writing music: one has to be comfortable with not knowing where a piece is going—at least in the beginning. Philip Glass talks about this in a documentary and how it can be scary for young composers. I know because that’s what ended up turning me away from composing: the constant feeling that pieces were going nowhere, that I had nothing to say.

Last week, I felt that fear and I recognized it for what it was: just the fog. I just have to keep walking or I’ll never know what’s beyond the fog.

A way for me to go beyond the fog is to talk to a lot of people until something clicks. And it always does.

Like a ball of yarn

A ball of yarn showing a loose thread, captioned "Start here."

Another image that comes to mind on these initial stages is a big ball is yarn. There’s a beginning and an end to this ball. I just have to spin the ball in my hands until I find the loose thread, the beginning.

I’m finally learning to be comfortable with this phase. This includes clearly communicating that I don’t know yet where the design is going and that’s OK.

Isn’t that what they call trusting the soup?