I have to remind myself on a daily basis to be mindful about the reason one composes, paints, writes, etc. That reason is not necessarily the end product, but the work itself. Do I write for the end product? Yes and no. My impatience with the process sometimes betrays my desire to do a good job, to create slowly and thoughtfully. But I try to remind myself that the goal isn’t necessarily the performance of the composition I’m working on, which, of course, if it didn’t happen, would leave the project incomplete, but instead the daily task of writing and adding a little bit more to the structure each day. This daily application is an intrinsic part of my work day and, hence, is ultimately as important as the end result.
The Zen folks regard birth, the daily life lived, and death as one and the same thing because, indeed, life wouldn’t be life without a mutual integration of all three. Just so, a work of art is the beginning, the daily work on it, and its completion. It’s all one and the same thing.