This blog is about the power of starting. Taking the tiniest of steps, of just doing something even when you don’t want to do anything. It is about this, because yesterday was one of those days when I didn’t want to do anything at all. It was one of those days when you have no idea what to do, even if you could be bothered to do it.

Helen Wells Studio

I had planned on a morning in my studio, some dedicated time to paint and experiment. The morning should have felt expansive, like a luxury and a joy. Instead I woke up on, what could politely be described as, ‘the wrong side of the bed’. Definitely the wrong side. More accurately I was in a terrible, fractious and unnecessarily bad mood. I was grumpy, tired, cross and uninspired.

I usually have a very sunny disposition, but I’m like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, when she is good, she is very very good and when she is bad she is horrid. It was an out-of-the-blue black mood for no discernible reason.

I sat at my desk with not a clue what to do. I am usually brimming with ideas, raring to start, yesterday it all felt a bit pointless. I stared at my paint and didn’t know where to start. So I filled-in the blank colour chart on the lid of my watercolour paints. Next to the name of each of the colours I put a little blob of that colour. It was probably the least imaginative thing I could possibly have done. But with this tiny unimaginative act, I had set the ball rolling. I had started.


I actually liked how those little blobs of intense colour looked. I got out some paper and started making little random coloured blobs, appreciating how the colours vibrated and danced when they sat next to each other.

And then I thought about how these little jewels of colour could be the starting point for a painting,.. perhaps they could represent pebbles on a beach, which got me thinking about a shocking pink sunset I had recently seen on the beach, which gave me an idea, which gathered its own momentum.

Helen Wells

Sometimes we feel inspired to create. Sometimes we feel energised and excited. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes our creative brains feel blank. I’ve learnt along the way that I can’t let inspiration dictate when and if I start something. Inspiration can be illusive, now I just turn up and start, even when I don’t feel like starting and I don’t know what I’m starting.

There is always a place for thinking... and planning...and pondering... and ...considering. However, sometimes I am guilty of using thinking and planning as an excuse for not starting. So rather than thinking about starting, I just take a deep breath and I start. And then I respond to that starting point and then I take another small action and then I carry on and see where it takes me.