Upping and Downing Is the Normal Course of Life…and Art

We like to think of our progress as a diagonal line moving ever upward. But that not how we experience change and growth. There are plenty of moments we regress, stumble, forget, and falter. Looking back over a long series of projects or experiences, we can see we’ve come a long way from where we started. But if you get into the details of the actual days—even weeks or months!—there are some plateaus, sometimes backslides, and occasionally valleys.

Those times, we feel like our work is stagnating or moving in the wrong direction. The insight or breakthrough happened and then, for a while, it’s like we got worse again. This is normal.

Try not to sweat it. The important thing is to keep going. You can only really see the massive improvements you’ve made when you look back at a big section of what you’ve done and where you’ve gone.