Creativity Series: Just Do It! {6}

February 19, 2009

Are you ready for the topic of the week in our Creativity Series? This one hits close to home, in fact this was the most challenging post of the series for me to write — just thinking about the topic gave me deer in the headlights syndrome. Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? This is what we’ll be discussing today, it’s a good one since lots of us struggle with it. Let’s talk about what analysis paralysis is and why it’s the quickest way to pour cold water all over that creative spark of yours.

First, what is analysis paralysis? Well it’s not some catchy word from Dr. Phil. It’s a condition that many suffer from but thankfully can be treated. Here’s the Wiktionary definition, “Analysis Paralysis– The condition of being unable to make a decision due to the availability of too much information which must be processed in order for the decision to be made.” In other words, omg too much information!!! You can’t make progress because you are brainstorming, researching, talking about, fine tuning, studying, and forum posting the life out of your idea. In the end you don’t do it. Sound familiar? Perhaps it’s a cop out, a cover, a mask because the more you are learning you can justify to yourself (and your friends) why you haven’t actually done it yet. Hmmm. Let’s illustrate.

Example: You want to sell your handmade scary monster dolls online.

Positive and practical next step: Spend a reasonable amount of time researching websites, pricing, competition, etc. Set priorities, carve out a plan, take it one step at a time. You may decide to open a small shop on a site like Etsy, Folksy, Dawanda, 1000 markets, etc. to see how you do and grow from there. Think about what you must do in order to get started, list your priorities first and stick to those action items. I find it best to work on the must do list and save the future maybes list for after you get started. Some find that lots of research, work, etc. is better conducted after the idea is launched.

The Analysis Paralysis way: Spend an unreasonable amount of time researching websites, pricing, competition, etc. Look at competitors thinking their work is somehow better. Explore every single website ever invented on planet earth to see where work should be sold. Then explore Mars. And maybe the Moon too. Next, proceed to get all stressed out over the potential that the idea could be stolen once it’s online. Worry that no one will like you. Worry that some kid may swallow your doll and die, you will get sued, and your life will be ruined. Read tons of books, blogs and websites on how to launch a small business online. Start thinking that maybe you should also sell your t-shirts and gocco prints. Start researching gocco paint and where you can purchase it for the best price. Spend more weeks on that. Then realize you really only want to sell your dolls. End result: months and months spent over analyzing everything and in the end, you still have no idea what website you want to go with to sell your dolls. Or worse, you see dolls much like yours in a brand new web shop that people are literally going bonkers over, they can’t keep ’em stocked, and you think you are a total loser for sitting on the idea for so long. You’re not a loser, you are just giving something that doesn’t require so much legwork way to much time to cook. Newsflash! You may be over cooking your idea.

I have this crazy expression that I use when I’m deep frying the life out of an idea. Stop drop and roll with it.

Have you stopped the flow of ideas before you were able to get started by over-analyzing everything? While it is a proven fact that creativity comes more naturally for some than others, I whole-heartedly believe that if you pursue your creative side and just GET STARTED then remain consistent, determined, and positive, you can find greater joy, increased self-worth, and success in your ideas.

You don’t need to learn everything before you start something. If you want to start selling your art prints, open a shop on a site like for instance and start putting your work there and build. Take a few business courses or talk to friends who have experience to share. Drop over-thinking every minutiae.

Here’s the exercise for this week. Grab some paper if you’d like or comment below.

1) List a few things that in the past you have over analyzed to the point of either a) Not following through on the idea or b) information overload stressed you out so much that the finished product wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been had you not over analyzed things.

2) List a few things that you want to do going forward that you see yourself already over thinking to the point of becoming uninspired. Maybe it is a bedroom that you need to decorate? An interest in taking up crochet? What is the real reason behind not actually DOING it?

3) Review your list and decide for yourself that you will no longer charbroil your ideas. Believe in the fact that you are worthy of selling those scary monster dolls online, that you will make mistakes along the way and that’s fine (all successful people have and continue to make mistakes), you will deal with copycats and jerks online, you will have some unhappy customers, but know that you are worthy enough to have success, money, honor, even a loyal following of fans… and that the bad is worth the good. And just DO it. Take the first step and then think about the second one.

Think all successful businesses are born from an elaborate business plan? Read my first post on decor8 in January 9, 2006. Does THAT sound like a girl with much of a plan?

(image by holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Shannon February 19, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    This is me. Thank you I really needed that.

  • Reply Eva February 19, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Hi, I thought I was the only one with this syndrom! thanks for writing about it, it did help and motivate me :-)
    Auckland, New Zealand

  • Reply Kim Wallace February 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    thanks for this post Holly it made me laugh! I am sure this sounds sooo familiar to most people that read your blog… I have the bad habit of having too many ideas and projects on the go at once and therefore never actually finishing any of them – also familiar to others I hope?

    Kim Wallaces last blog post: Please meet…

  • Reply Suzanne February 19, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Once again, you have hit the nail on the head Holly!
    I analyze things TO DEATH all. the. time. I am my own worst enemy! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one – who knew it’s an actual condition?! (Not me.)
    I am going to try the ‘must do’ and ‘maybe do’ list ideas – I like making lists! So, hopefully that will help. Thank you AGAIN!

    Suzannes last blog post: Rainbow Bright

  • Reply Angelia February 19, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    I have been going through just this process for several weeks, with trying a new printing technique. I could not move. Finally after forcing myself to just try something, I was able to complete some printed yardage and it was amazing how I felt. It is like the flood gates opened, I can’t wait to get back to the table each day.

    Angelias last blog post: Print Design

  • Reply Yvonne February 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Holly, thanks again for another insightful post. You are so in touch with the human condition. I do a LOT of research before I embark on anything and sometimes I get so overwhelmed that the project just gets shelved. It’s definitely tough to let go of the perfectionist streak. Glad to know that there are others like me! :)

    Yvonnes last blog post: Challenges

  • Reply Inspiring Mama February 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Oh Holly..this post makes me want to cry. I have so many ideas, projects, and goals that i want to achieve within my life, yet I suffer from this syndrome in the worst way. ie: I have analyzed over an over about launching an online shop for my handmade gifts/crafts/decor, yet I have yet to do it. Funny thing is that the more talented creatives I meet, the more i ponder over if I’m ready to dive into it. There have been times that I have told my husband that i wish i only had one goal, that way i knew what to focus on. Having so many ideas and a plethora of resources can actually feel like a weight on your shoulders than a gift when not in the right mind state! The funny thing is I have written a post regarding this issue as well: yet it is just so hard to get up and do it!

    I have had thoughts of painting a pic that simply says: Just Do It to hang in our apt. as a reminder to keep things moving!

    Thank you so very much for this post & no matter how cluttered my mind may get, I know that within time things will come about as they should, when they should…I just have to offer up the mental space to respect that! Thanks for being you Holly!

  • Reply Sarah February 19, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks so much for this series of posts Holly. I’ve enjoyed each one… though I think this one really hits home. I am completely like this & I think the idea that other people have the same issues might just help me get moving a little quicker next time… I’m happy that I’m not alone!
    On another note… I just LOVE that you linked to your first post. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before. Whenever I find a blog to follow I always skip back to see how it started. Quite inspiring :)

    Sarahs last blog post: and the winner is…

  • Reply Jeni February 19, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Holly, you are amazing! I am passing this post on to my cousin to read, her and I used to talk all the time about how we over analyze everything to death! Loved looking back at your very first post too, amazing how things sometimes turn out so much sweeter than we ever could have planned for ourselves. You were right about the DNA part, it IS in your blood!

    Jenis last blog post: Elemental Goods

  • Reply susi February 19, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Although I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling overwhelmed and overthinking everything, somehow I didn’t think of it as a problem. But analysis PARALYSIS — you’re totally right! I know exactly what you’re talking about. Thanks for writing this post, as challenging as it was, it is tremendously helpful.

  • Reply Nathan February 19, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your first blog post – nice to see how it all got started and how far decor8 has gone.

  • Reply Nicole R. February 19, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Great post! I’m horrible about overthinking things and/or getting too far ahead of myself instead of taking things step by step. While I consider my analytical skills and lofty ideas to be blessings, they do get in the way at times. I’ve been working lately to organize and simplify my approach to things, to build slowly, and realize that it’s not going to happen overnight, nor does it have too!

    Nicole R.s last blog post: New in the Etsy Shop

  • Reply The Rural Modernist February 19, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    What a wonderful and inspiring post. I’ve been guilty of all of the pitfalls you’ve mentioned and I’ve also been able to overcome many of them, too, mainly by accident or sheer stubbornness. I’m an illustrator, launched a greeting card company with my bf, and I have two blogs, and I still feel like I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing. All I know is I have to just keep on trying my best and not listen to the critics or that nagging little voice in my head that tells me “why bother”. I encourage anyone out there to just do it!

    The Rural Modernists last blog post: Danish Mod comes to The Catskills

  • Reply Gina February 19, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    You had me laughing on this post…moon,mars,loser,charbroil, bonkers.

    I sit on things, afraid I’m the only one out there that will likes them.
    I couldn’t name all the things I’ve not carried out because of, analysis paralysis.
    Things I want, well need to do…..put more color in my house and ignore those weird looks I get from my husband and in laws. :)

    Ginas last blog post: Birthday or Unbirthday Give-A-Way

  • Reply Shell February 19, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    I agree. You have to jump in and do it. You learn as you go on. There is truly no perfect time to start any new adventure. The only time is now.

    Shells last blog post: Dreaming

  • Reply holly February 19, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    My name is Holly too so I’m cracking up reading “holly, you’re awesome, amazing, etc” Well, you are! But, really, my Mom had a retail store for over 23 years and if she sat and thought about anything for too long we would have been out of business years ago….You can always tweak and improve on your repetoire but sometimes you JUST DO IT! My nature is to find the perfect setting, to write the perfect card, and have quiet time to write a thoughtful note and the truth is sometimes I’m flying by the seat of my pants, writing it in the car, scrambling for a sharpie, and finding a stamp at the bottom of my lint filled purse. Fortunately, I have good letterpress cards so the job does get done….Thanks for the scoop! Holly

    hollys last blog post: Vintage Cross pin or Pendant

  • Reply Christina February 20, 2009 at 12:19 am

    As always, you are such an inspiration :)

  • Reply Jessica February 20, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Hi Holly! I don’t think I’ve commented yet, but I’ve been following for about a month. This series is amazing, especially this post. I just actually came out of a few week period where I was feeling really not in control, overwhelmed and dissatisfied with my life. A lot of it had to do with analysis by paralysis.

    I just launched my online store – – and its something I’ve been wanting perfect and live for a long time now after hitting a few major roadblocks. Now that it’s up I feel like I could do anything – and that I need to do everything right away because I’ve been getting requests for selling in stores, renting studio space, press coverage etc… which are all good things, but I just don’t have the time to develop each to its fullest because I’m still working full time as well.

    Alas – one thing at a time is a great attitude! So I have decided to politely put the requests on hold and just focus on getting my online shop started. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Jessicas last blog post: Threadbanger Video: Recycled Crafts at the CHA World Fair

  • Reply ah Teo February 20, 2009 at 1:13 am

    i set up my business about 2 years ago and at that time, things happened too fast for me to fall into this trap. however, nowadays, i have been getting into this analysis paralysis trap and consider too many things. recently, i have changed to be a “do” person rather than “think & talk” person. I feel much happier and lighter. I really need to be careful not to think too much. Thanks holly, for reminding me.

    ah Teos last blog post: Swirl Gelateria at Crown Centre

  • Reply leaca February 20, 2009 at 2:09 am

    sometimes I can’t even go on flickr because I tear into my own photography after. great post.

    leacas last blog post: simply chocolate

  • Reply Sarah February 20, 2009 at 2:19 am

    This post hit a note with me – I am so guilty of over analysing, so it’s reassuring to see I’m not alone! I’m such a worrier/control freak/perfectionist that I’ve put off so many things – even normal things like hosting dinner parties, for the fear of it not being perfect, or because it all felt too hard. I also feel overwhelmed with thoughts and concerns and tasks in the workplace, and feel I need to know everything before I can do anything. Thanks for the post, and here’s to turning that paralysis into amazing-ness!

  • Reply Astrid Natasastra February 20, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Wow wow wow is all I can say.. What I really like about this post is.. you really have proven it.. so it’s not just some theory/advice… Its also relieving to know that its OK to be confuse.. as long it doesn’t take me too long to realizing it.. thank you Holly…=)

  • Reply Frida February 20, 2009 at 3:26 am

    This is probably on of the most important things to learn. VERY useful tips.

    Fridas last blog post: The history of friggeboden

  • Reply Mel Design Heaven February 20, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Oh Holly this is a brilliant series. I read this post and realised I do this all the time. My very good friend and I have come up with the some brilliant ideas and never start them. We have been doing this for eight years now!!! The sad thing is I know the two of us together would make anything work but we just can’t get past the talking stage. We also believe people follow us around and steal our brilliant ideas and then go on to make millions! :) Okay the last part might be more a case of they thought of it as well and just got on with it. But after reading this I am determine that we take one of our ideas and roll with it.

    Mel Design Heavens last blog post: Rare wall sculpture

  • Reply Mel Design Heaven February 20, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Oh Holly this is a brilliant series. I read this post and realised I do this all the time. A good friend and I come up with business ideas all the time but never start them. We have been doing this for eight years now!!! The sad thing is I know the two of us together would make anything work but we just can’t get past the talking stage. We also believe people follow us around and steal our brilliant ideas and then go on to make millions! :) Okay the last part might be more a case of they thought of it as well and just got on with it. But after reading this I am determine that we take one of our ideas and roll with it.

    Mel Design Heavens last blog post: Rare wall sculpture

  • Reply juliette February 20, 2009 at 6:59 am

    “swallow your doll and die”
    haaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa laughing so hard, that probably wasn’t intended to be the funny part, but it has me laughing out loud alone in my living room right now, hee!

    I’m teetering on the edge of paralysis right now, so this is perfect timing! I’m wanting to open an Etsy shop but the legal-schmeegal stuff like taxes and licensure is freaking me out. There is also SO MUCH information out there on ‘how to start an Etsy shop’ and ‘how to get more sales’ and it’s so tempting to read a million threads and suddenly realize that 4hrs just passed and you all you really accomplished is the big fat nada.

    Thanks for the Bakery link, I just contacted them to see if my problem (ex pat, shops, blah blah) is up their alley. I also have made a break down list of who to contact with my problems. I have to break it up or I’m never going to see the forest for the trees. Embassy, CPA friend who worked with expats State-side, small bus buddy back in MA, etc. There’s my list. I gotta keep going till I get an answer. Then it’s gangbusters to open the shop doors!

  • Reply sharon February 20, 2009 at 7:17 am

    this post made me chuckle…..I think this is the curse of creative people, not helped by the enourmous wealth of information that is now at our fingertips, and the fact you can research for ever & ever…..I’m going to copy this posting & pass to all my designers in the hope they (& me too!) can learn from it
    take care, sharon x

    sharons last blog post: my bags are packed…..x

  • Reply Allison February 20, 2009 at 8:06 am

    oh boy can I do this over purchases… I caught myself doing it over a sofa recently. I decided it was time to have a proper living room sofa instead of the futon sofa from university. So at first I thought IKEA, but then I realised that even though their website makes it easy to pick something out (dimensions, fabrics, etc), I wanted to spend my money on something higher quality that would last a long time. So then I looked at tons of sofa pictures trying to find the style I would like best, then reading lots of “tips for buying a sofa” articles on what to look for, then trying to find somewhere local with a website to get prices, then waffling back to IKEA because it would be “easy”. Finally I caught myself at being reluctant to actually take any Real Action, and forced myself out of my desk chair and into an actual furniture shop. That’s when everything actually started to fall into place … when I took the first real step. Researching and figuring out what you want is fine, but at some point you have to move out of that phase, and you’ll maybe only realise what you need to learn once you take a step towards the goal.

    Allisons last blog post: Yellow Week – Day 4

  • Reply Tracey February 20, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for this post. I really did think it was just me, it is so comforting to read all the comments from others who feel the same. I read so many blogs that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all these creative people who have got it together and are making a success of their ideas. I feel a little intimidated about starting my own ventures, I graduated last year with a degree in textile/surface design and have had many ideas for products I want to make and sell but have ended up overthinking everything and not doing anything. I am going to take your advice and make a list of everything, then pick one thing and start with that. Thanks again. x

    Traceys last blog post: They were robbed!

  • Reply Dina February 20, 2009 at 8:26 am

    This is a great post and I am definitely feeling in paralysis mode with my current idea. I think my only issue is how much analysis is “reasonable” for each given situation and accompanying risk? There’s very little overhead associated with putting your scary dolls up for sale on Etsy…but what about when you’re talking about putting up your life savings, your home as collateral and taking out a $200k business loan? It gets a lot scarier and the “reasonable” piece increases, but just how much is the question?

  • Reply Erin February 20, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I absolutely do this with everything-my whole life! And then when I get a move on, I think:”why didn’t I do that a long time ago?!” because the results are usually positive, so you would think I would learn from all that needless agonizing. Anyway, It’s great to know that I am not alone. And now I have some techniques to get over it already!
    A perfect example of my “inaction”: not commenting on blogs, like yours, which I have been reading for at least 6 months!
    Thanks Holly.

    Erins last blog post: New Things, Old Things

  • Reply lindsay February 20, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Ha! The paragraph “The Analysis Paralysis way” of selling monster dolls- CRACKS ME UP! I’m sure so many of us have had that exact dialouge running through our heads before. I know I have. It can pop up when I’m working on a new series, decided what color to paint shutters, selecting a school for our daughters…My husband and I always say we strike a good balance of the two extremes. I can analyze things to death and he will dive into any and everything, head first, with little to no thought at all. He keeps us moving forward, and I keep us from spinning out of control.

    Great post Holly. It sure hit home.

    lindsays last blog post: Buy One, Get One Free SALE in the shop!

  • Reply Vela February 20, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for this post Holly. I suffer from this syndrome in so many aspects of my life. I think the internet has actually made it worse for me. When I plan a vacation, I end up reading ALL of the reviews for a certain resort/destination, and not from just one site! This takes hours, and I’m ultimately left exhausted. The same happens when making purchases. When I needed a new printer, it took me a month to decide! I think this has been documented as a personality type, maximizers vs. satisfiers. The maximizers, despite all of their research, and over analyzing, still lament the choice/decision they didn’t make. In my creative life, I have managed to take leaps, leaving a full time job for a freelance illustration career, but still fall into this trap sometimes. I start comparing myself to other artists, or discount my ideas before I execute them. Your point of just ding it is truly the key. Once I sit down and do the work, I feel so much better. Even if the first step isn’t perfect, it’s something, it’s tangible. While just thinking, researching, and over analyzing creates nothing and leads to nowhere.

  • Reply Bianca February 20, 2009 at 9:29 am

    just want to say THANK YOU for the creativity series. Your blog is very insipiring and even though I’m not a native speaker, it’s pleasant and easy to read.
    I feel inspired by Deco8 and -most surprisingly- I live in Italy where everything is filled with insipiration!

    Biancas last blog post: The Gargoyle & other things

  • Reply kt February 20, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Your post made me get going today. Thank You!!!! kt

    kts last blog post: sorting

  • Reply Lisa T February 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Holly, I’m laughing too because once again this is me you’re talking about. Although my problem is that not only do I want to do the “handmade scary monster dolls”, but also the tshirts, gocco cards, jewellery, paintings, etc, so I over analyse IT ALL. It really does do my head in.

    OK …breathe and do it!

    Lisa Ts last blog post: A break in transmission

  • Reply Kelly February 20, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Thank you for this. If we just “show up” and actually begin the creating then we might be able to make something wonderful. Our thoughts can get in the way of our greatness!

    Thanks for showing your first blog post as well. You have come so far. You are a wonderful source of inspiration for creative people!

    Kellys last blog post: A Nice Surprise

  • Reply Janelle February 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Great post. I’ve always considered myself indecisive and over-analytical. Now I have a name for it: Analysis Paralysis. Thanks! Feels good to put a label on it — sounds so official. I tend to want EVERYTHING in order before I actual make something happen. Organize, analyze, organize, analyze… It can be exhausting. Needless to say, I buy a lot of supplies for projects (material for quilts & sewing project, unfinished furniture, beads for jewelery…) and they never make it to THE finished project. Ugh. I’m excited to work on this! Maybe I’ll actually start and finish my project for “Apartment Therapy”! Yeah… I made a commitment to transform a piece of furniture and I haven’t even started! The contest deadline is fast approaching. I’m going to start today by following your guidelines. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

  • Reply Mackenzi February 20, 2009 at 11:42 am

    When I was opening my store, my father repeatedly said to me, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

    I don’t think anything he said could have been more appropriate. Aim to be good- no great! But, know things are impossible to make perfect and it’s far better to do many good things than nothing at all. Almost two years later I still find myself saying this in my head.

  • Reply Heather February 20, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I have just been caught in the analysis paralysis! I have been very excited about a project I’m doing, but haven’t gotten past the researching, making an image board, adding to the image board and so on. I have a deadline to complete 16 images in two weeks, so thanks for the kick in the but to just get going on it already!!

    Heathers last blog post: Top Ten Colors for Spring

  • Reply Aimee February 20, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Wow, I knew I was an over-thinker, over-analyzer, over ponderer and, yes, and over-cooker (p.s. don’t eat the cookies!) but I didn’t know there was a name for it.

    Hello, my name is Aimee and I have APS [Analysis Paralysis Syndrome].

    From time to time in my professional life I get asked for an opinion on “design related issues” or software and I pop right out with an answer. But when it comes to my own work I can get trapped on the wishy washy, try every solution, explore every possible option merry-go-round…and yes…nothing gets done. Honestly, my first reaction to the exercise was also to over-think it…(note to self: set aside a few hours this weekend to ponder 1, 2, and 3…sigh) A FEW HOURS! I’m not kidding. Funny how unless things, like behaviors, are spelled out for you, you don’t even realize you are doing it! From now on I am going to treat myself as I would a client or friend. Ask myself the same questions, ANSWER them succinctly, and just do it. Great tip Holly.

    Also, thank you for the link to your first post, it really helps put things in perspective for me.

    Aimees last blog post: quotable: maya angelou

  • Reply Susanna February 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for the post. Very useful article!

    Susannas last blog post: Chirp! Chirp! Why not bring birds indoors?

  • Reply Rachel B. February 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    It seems that we all needed to see this written somewhere. I think plenty of people feel this way- Thanks for helping us remove our self made roadblocks!

    Rachel B.s last blog post: Etsy Love: Wren and Chickadee

  • Reply claudine hellmuth February 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    great article holly!!!

    claudine hellmuths last blog post: book signing Saturday!

    • Reply decor8 February 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      I’m thrilled to see the response I’m getting from these Creative Series, it inspires me to write them each week knowing that you are enjoying them. Please keep commenting and expressing points and ideas that I may have missed because this series is about ALL of us trying to live a more creative lifestyle together. Thanks everyone. Truly!

  • Reply Mariss February 20, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    It is good to hear that many of us go through this. I will tell myself to suck it up and give the Heimlich maneuver to a child in case they choke on something I made! (Which I seriously have worried about when gifting a knitted item ;)

    1. Selling my watercolors and stationary. It’s getting ridiculous, I’ve been trying to do it for years now, at least 3, this is the year. It’s okay to fail and look dumb sometimes! Also, moving forward with interior design. Just because I’ve been working within facilities design doesn’t mean I can’t still move forward.

    2. Things I want to do: keep learning up on green design, especially the new LEED info (I just became a LEED AP!) Be a better project manager when given the opportunity, be committed to my current job. Just sell my stationary, even though it feels like an old idea now!

    3. Okay, I’ll work on this Holly. Thanks!

    Marisss last blog post: Oh, February!

  • Reply Kerry February 21, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Hurray! I love this one. This is totally me. I swear that i exhausted every possible career by researching it to death. I feel i could be a career counselor by default. So, in the spirit of just doing things, i started my blog today! I will try not to over think this one….

    Kerrys last blog post: Who are you… Who am I… Wait….what?!

  • Reply ROOM design studio February 21, 2009 at 2:03 am

    this is me !

    I’ve been over cooking my ideaS for 4 years now. Tired , Exhausted, my Husband told me I research too much. I see that I need it. Now I can see that I AM SO LAZY .. so searching is easier than GOING AHEAD AND WORKING ON IT.

    thanks for the clarification!

    ROOM design studios last blog post: More from Knack!

  • Reply Laura Aiken February 21, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Holly I so look forward to this creative series. You are my hero!

  • Reply Laura February 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    This may be the best yet in your Creativity Series. Every word is *so* true and I can see from the comments that there are LOTS of us out there “deep frying” our ideas, LOL! My own personal struggle is with writing – there are many, many other things I have been procrastinating about as well (photography, sewing, etc., etc.) but it always comes back to writing. I have finally started a blog for parents, because my background is in education, but I really want to submit some freelance articles & work on children’s stories as well – No More Deep Frying! I’m ready to stop drop and roll with it!

  • Reply christa February 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    My favorite quote of the moment:
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.- Mark Twain

    christas last blog post: Make your own coasters from cocktail napkins

  • Reply Lin February 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    This is me entirely. I have always thought I’d be super successful if I could just stop my inner critic. I have procrastinated for over 10 years regarding my artistic ability, and have wasted so much time. But as I’m getting older I’m realising not to focus on the negative things and start making things happen!
    I have always wanted to be a visual/fine artist, but was not allowed to study art in school (parent’s wanted me to study something that would get me a job – you know that old chestnut!). And I think because I wasn’t nurtured as an artist at a young age, I have never had the confidence to do this by myself.
    So basically my entire interest in art has been deep frying and this year it stops. It’s time to take a risk, to work hard, believe in myself, and do what I LOVE! I’m studying interior decorating, which is great, but really just a guise for what I want to be doing which is illustrating and painting..
    Cheers for such a great post! You should turn this into a book Holly. I’m sure other’s would agree!

    Lins last blog post: Daily Drawing : Monsieur Accordian

  • Reply holly February 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Christie nailed it! (see comment #51)

    I think we all suffer from that blessing and curse of being creative…We all want to find the greatest materials, the best and the right timing, etc…My husband says “one brick at a time”. It’s hard for me to start at square one when I have a million visions dancing in my head. What I find most helpful is keeping a notebook by my computer and making notes of those blogs, products and things you find so that you don’t waste time later searching for that thing that inspired you at 130 a.m. Because we all get lost in cyberspace- which is a beautiful thing- creative people sharing the LOVE- it also gets in the way of that task you set out to accomplish.

    SO, start making lists….Cross a few things off of your list each day before you get lost in the maze…..Before you know it you’ll be hearing “you’ve got mail” and you’ll have sales in your etsy shop or inquiries for your new product or idea. And then you’ll wonder “what was I waiting for??”. You can always tweak what you have but if you don’t get it started, another week will go by, and another month, and before you know it….You find yourself discouraged so JUST DO IT. And have fun along the way.

    hollys last blog post: Antique Lotus and Faux Bois Vessel

  • Reply holly February 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    PS….And thank the heavens for people like Holly and decor8.

    hollys last blog post: Antique Lotus and Faux Bois Vessel

  • Reply Jessica February 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Great post.

    My partner and I have a stationery business, Wink Fine Stationery and Design, and a website,, and often feel overwhelmed by the amount of paper goods that we are competing with. With so much competition, it’s so easy to start over analyzing and get nowhere. It’s nice to see, perhaps our “competition” may feel the same way about us:).

  • Reply pearllinds February 22, 2009 at 3:44 am

    It is officially Sunday and I couldn’t even get my thoughts together to make my comment because – THIS IS ME!! I will not list my examples…it would take too long!! And be way too embarrassing! But I am the ‘Queen of Listing,’ and this has helped me re-group my thoughts and prioritized. In my handy dandy journal I’ve been using for occasions like this.

    Thanks again ;)


    pearllindss last blog post: {Friday Flickr Inspiration}

  • Reply Laura Aiken February 22, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    OK I hate to take up space again but just can’t help myself. After reading the article again I thought all day about it. I am so guilty of deep frying. I thought it was just me. My husband tells me all the time how to get going and what I am suppose to do but….There are so many creative thoughts running around in my head it almost makes me dizzy.–OK I am dizzy, but that is beside the point. I am so delighted to find that we are all in the boat together, concerned about the competion no. 1 and what if no one likes it no. 2 or vs. Reseaching and researching….and just basically typing away too. All I (we) really want is to create, please, and sell my artwork…But I think I need a mentor too. Someone who can say-Laura now move on to step whatever or now it’s time for a new look or that banner of yours is awful! Does that make sense?
    Again Holly thank you for giving me space time and your fresh, pretty, interesting blog.—I feel much better now :)
    Laura Aiken

    Laura Aikens last blog post: MOSAIC LEVEL II – MOSAIC DESIGN NEW starting in May 2009

  • Reply Chloe Cumbow February 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks again for this series. Will repeat here thanks for your first posting.
    This weeks topic is not my problem (oh there are plenty of other problems!) because I have worked in manufacturing for so long and seen
    first hand what analysis paralysis does, over and over. Think about all the diluted, watered down and cheesy products available in the regular retail marketplace. It’s a miracle when anything good makes it to a store without being analysed and revised to death to try to please everyone and second guess every possibility. This could make a designer drink and want to commit some act of violence. So, when there is any time to get some personal work out, I can be pretty fearless. And actually a couple of pieces are being produced that are pretty true to my original vision, so I won’t punch anybody this week. I’ll take that back. This week, had a marketing guy (holding a picture of one of my favorites) say,
    (whine) “well…I don’t know….what if… they haven’t seen something like this before…….I …don’t….know………” Punch. Punch. Punch.
    You might have to fight for your ideas. Love, Chloe C.

  • Reply chantal February 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    thank you.

    i’m currently lost in that sea that you just described and i really need to grab on to something before it’s too late. i just recently jumped in and decided to give my dreams a go and overwhelming doesn’t begin to describe it, but it’s refreshing and stimulating…as long as i can anchor it all down ;))) really appreciate this post, and all of your inspiring posts, ideas and support for others out there!

    chantals last blog post: 4:47am

  • Reply Little Gray Pixel February 23, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I’m so guilty of this. I overthink everything I write … because I’m an editor in my day job … and this seriously cripples my work blogging and writing fiction. At least it doesn’t hurt my photography!

    Thanks for the new perspective.

    Little Gray Pixels last blog post: Five Palms 8×10 fine art photo

  • Reply Lena February 24, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Fabulous post, Holly! Have been reading your blog for quite a while now, but never left a comment. This post really hit home. Had to comment. Thank you so much.

  • Reply dana February 25, 2009 at 8:40 am

    thank you for this series, holly! im suffering from this ailment at the moment, and your posting really opened my eyes and my mind, well timed and much needed! thanks again!

    danas last blog post: just you wait

  • Reply Amanda February 26, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks, Holly. I read this while in the middle of a paralysis involving an art project. I was so reluctant to make decisions that nothing was happening. Now I’m diving in and allowing myself to trust and lovingly connect with the process!

  • Reply daisy janie : scoutie girl February 26, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I kept this post as new in my reader for the past week so I could come back to it when I was done overcooking 5 other ideas – :) I nodded along like a puppet as I read it – sooooo true. I have known this about myself and made a conscious decision to not look so inward when making decisions. It’s not all about me – I look at my handsome husband and my (holy crap) sweet 11-year-old son – and suddenly the light doesn’t get any greener. It’s easy to jump when I have to do it for them! Don’t get me wrong – I love what I’m doing, but I no longer have time to piss around…..and that’s been an eye-opener!!

    This series is an absolute gem, Holly! Happy Friday!

    daisy janie : scoutie girls last blog post: color inspiration: freshly folded & quietly waiting

  • Reply Racheli T July 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

    You know how you can read something once and not pay attention but then you come across it when the time is RIGHT and it means the world to you?

    Thank you so much for this post, it’s just what I needed to read!

  • Reply Tom April 6, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Do today, improve tomorrow.

    Stop reading the manual, start playing the game.

    Give it your best shot.

    Repitition = confidence. Get into the habit of letting go that you can’t know everything.

    Wabi sabi: Nothing is perfect, nothing is finished, nothing is forever.
    Embrace wabi sabi. Accept things as imperfect, unfinished, temporary. A reflection of life. Only God is perfect, complete and eternal.

    Thank you for the post! :) I just realised how much I suffer from analysis paralysis. I think I may also have reading OCD and some other perfectionistic tendencies. Good luck with everything you do!

  • Reply Vibeke Hoie June 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you ! So amazing! I was just thinking all the wrong things about my newly started webshop…selling my illustration prints. You gave me new energy:) Lovely! Baby steps – one thing at the time!

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