Updated: Apr 7, 2020
This is a helpful question to ask myself when I am doing something hard, lengthy, or for the first time. I think I inadvertently absorbed this idea from Tim Ferriss. I listen to his podcast all the time when I am illustrating and I've read most of his books as well. At any rate, it was extremely helpful.
The first book I wrote and illustrated, Lucy Cate and her Gratitude Attitude, was a daunting task for me. I also have a half finished, illustrated book about the funny parts of being a flight attendant. That one has never made it out and that book was in the works first. I talked myself out of publishing it for several reasons that weren't real obstacles. I made it so much harder than it had to be -- not the actual work, but the dumb mindset, confidence problems, indecision, and "what ifs" kept it from seeing the light of day.
My children's books felt like they needed to be out there. I really believe in a daily gratitude practice and Lucy Cate... teaches little ones to put that in their day via a grumpy owl (spoiler alert, the owl is Lucy Cate). I got past my own worry about whether the drawings were cute enough, or the poem was catchy and bouncy enough because I wanted kids to practice gratitude. The reason trumped my self doubt and other invisible obstacles. I had, "What would it look like if it was easy?" on a post it note on my drawing desk to remind me to just draw the damn thing and stop talking myself out of all of it. That post it got me through the next book, Beauty Salad and then I sort of forgot about it.
I currently have another Lucy Cate book planned out (not written or drawn, but plotted) and the post it note is coming back out. I have a YA novel started as well which is daunting because it is all of my aforementioned obstacles (hard, lengthy and for the first time). I probably should wallpaper my office with post its that say, "What would it look like if it was easy?"
I'll let you know how it goes.
Links to Tim Ferriss' books:
*Disclaimer, if you purchase these books via these Amazon links I will get a wee commission. I would recommend them (and have) either way.*