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  • Writer's pictureEric

An object at rest...something, something, something

What do you do when you’ve stalled out?

I was helping a young man move his car out of an intersection recently. If you’ve been that stalled driver, you know how hopeless and embarrassing it feels. Of course as the vehicle began picking up speed, the driver hopped in to steer it out of traffic’s way. That left me the only person pushing – and with a heavier car at that. But we got it to the side of the road easily enough.

I don’t entirely understand the physics of momentum. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with velocity and mass. And I think there’s a phrase that begins, ”An object at rest…something, something, something.” But I have even less understanding as to why momentum is so crucial in creativity. Yet we know it is. The numerous times I’ve let myself creatively stall – take a couple of days or a week off –the more the effort to get moving again makes me want to pull up “just one more game” of FreeCell Solitaire instead.

Yet those times I’ve been deep in a project and moving fast feel so good, the progress so effortless. Why? Why, when we are not dealing with physical properties (mass and friction and gravity) is momentum still such an important thing to feed and to build upon?

What do you do to get your stalled-self moving again? And what do you do to maintain the momentum once you’re back on your way?

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