“If we are to say something authentic, we need to stick with an idea for awhile. We need to gnaw at it, mine it, obsess over it. You can get a lot of mileage out of an idea that is deeply your own. You can mine it like a vein of gold. You can rework it. Working ideas along or in series also means we’re not starting from scratch each morning, wondering what we’ll be doing next . The game plan is in place. The current piece fits into the whole.
Eventually the inspiration may run its course. But when you do find something that holds you, that you can obsess over, put your attention there. When Alexander the Great arrived by boat with his troops to conquer the Persians he had his generals burn the boats. The soldiers woke to the sound of burning boats, which gave the clear message there was no going back. In the same way, we can abandon secondary ideas that aren’t calling so loudly. Get your energy flowing where your interest is most intense.
As you learn to follow the idea along, to process thse ideas into music or paintings, you start to realize the question of whether you are talented enough or good enough is no longer relevant. Following your ideas and creating art is just what you do. It isn’t a romantic thing, being an artist. At least for artists. It’s just what we’ve decided to do.