“You Look CORNFUSED!”
The old, hand-painted sign marked the first dead-end in the enormous corn maze.
I, however, was not cornfused nor was I disheartened by the maze’s mockery.
Throughout the course of my creative career, I have encountered many dead-ends and I’ve learned how to navigate with focus and patience.
Many artists react to every dead-end with a quick one-eighty and resume their aimless wandering – sweaty, exhausted and confused.
…hoping they’ll eventually get lucky and find a way out.
But you can save yourself a lot of sweat and frustration if you know how to deal with dead-ends…
Are You Walking Or Wandering?
Despite having spent most of my life in Ohio, this was my first corn maze.
…and I was SUPER-excited.
You see, I have a hard time remembering useful things like where I put my keys, Wednesday night is trash night, how to get home from Studio City before the Vegan Thai take-out gets cold and “Turn off the toaster oven or you’ll burn the house down” because my head is full of useless knowledge.
Of course, useless knowledge is only useless until you find a use for it.
Keep your right hand on the right wall and walk.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
But things got a little more complicated when I started to doubt myself…
Oh, Ye Of Little Faith…
After about five minutes into the corn maze, we discovered that first dead-end.
…the one with the “CORNFUSED” sign.
Five minutes in and my own wife, possessed by the sarcastic power of The Maze, was already doubting me:
“Ooooh, so it looks like Chris was wrong after all.”
As silly as the whole situation was and despite the fact that my wife was just teasing me, I actually experienced a moment of self-doubt.
Maybe the maze-trick is just a myth. I’m going to look like a fool if it doesn’t work.
But I did not lose heart.
…and while responding to my wife, I discovered the lesson of the corn maze:
“I didn’t say we wouldn’t hit dead-ends. I said we would find our way out.”
The Changing Maze:
But if you’re feeling lost, chances are you’re in some kind of maze.
A Maze Of Your Own Making:
If The Maze is one which you’ve entered by choice, like a new art course (A NEW Oatley Academy enrollment period begins this month!) or a personal project, you’ve entered with intent to find the exit.
…to solve The Maze.
In those scenarios, the dead-ends are a sign that you’re making progress. …unless you hit the same dead-end over and over again.
…then you’re wandering in circles.
“Creative dead-ends are signs that you’re making progress. …unless you’re hitting the same one over and over.”
[ click to tweet this quote ]
Dead-Ends Are Part Of The Deal.
The dead-ends are where you will be tempted to begin wandering aimlessly.
The dead-ends are where the signs will seem like they’re mocking you.
The dead-ends are when the doubters (Love you, Sweetie!) will speak up and try to deter you.
But in any kind of maze, dead ends are inevitable.
Don’t react to the dead-ends with a thoughtless one-eighty.
If you’re lost in The Maze, the last thing you need is to keep wandering aimlessly within it, wasting time and energy, sweaty, exhausted and confused.
Stay focused and be patient.
Put your right hand on the right wall and walk.
Comment & Share:
Are you wandering aimlessly? What do you need to help you focus and find your way out of The Maze?