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I love this quote from Ai Weiwei. It sticks in my head because my friend Veronica had it up on her fridge. Whenever I’d be feeling overwhelmed by another big creative project I would look at that fridge magnet and remind myself to just start with one little thing. I find that the thought of what I need to do is so much worse than the actual task. It’s just so hard to start. But then I just repeat to myself “one small act, one small act…” and start. When I decided to get back into watercolour painting 15 years ago, I found it so hard to actually sit down and paint even though I wanted to. I would even set aside the time to do it, but then get distracted by other things or make up some excuse. Seriously who thinks it’s better to vacuum the house instead of paint? Me apparently! So in my task-avoidance mode I decided that all I had to do was set up my paints, palette, water, brushes and paper. I didn’t need to actually do any painting; I just needed to go through the ritual of getting myself ready to paint. Then I decided that I just needed to wet my brush and play with a few colours. I didn’t need to actually paint anything in particular, just play. Next thing I knew I was painting all the time. I think it made it easier because it made painting part of my normal routine and took the anxiety out of it. I know, painting is supposed to be relaxing, but not when you are me apparently. I find creative work takes a ton of mental energy. I love it, but it stretches me. Oh well, at least now I know that when I’m stuck, “One small act..” is my friend!