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Last week I posted a teaching video with some reflections on the connection between my faith in Jesus and beauty. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here.

I have never done a project like this before. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work. From the conception of the idea to finishing the final edits, it took a few years.

As we were nearing the end of the project, I started to reflect on the journey of creating it and made a list of a few things that I learned along the way.

1. You can’t do it alone. The truth about the final product is I’m not sure I’m the one who actually spent the most time on it. This project would have never happened with out the help of my good friend James. He was the guy who held the camera while we filmed everything. He showed up to a video shoot with his back thrown out. And he was the one who did all of the editing and mastering. It would have never come together without him.

When taking on a big project, whether it’s writing a book, recording music, or shooting a video, the end product will be more successful when a team of people is involved.

2. You have to believe in it. You have to grow convinced that this is a thing that people need to hear, see, or read. There are going to be people who think it’s silly and a waste of time. They may not like it or even understand it. But you have to believe that it’s important. You have to be compelled to put it out there. Without that conviction your idea will never come to fruition.

3. You have to persevere. I can’t tell you how many times I thought about canning the project all together. It took way longer to make than I thought it would. We had a hard time finding a venue. It was a challenge to find the right artist to help with the B-roll. And we had production problems that set back our timeline. When creating something new, there will be plenty of obstacles along they way. The question is whether or not those obstacles will discourage you or fuel your desire to keep going?

4. It will cost you. Creating things is hard work. It requires focus and determination. It may cost you something financially, but it will also cost you something emotionally, mentally, and relationally. You will have to say “No” to certain things so that you can say “Yes” to the work. When writing the script for the video, there were Friday and Saturday nights where I was sitting at my desk working rather than spending time with my wife. Sacrifice is required to create good work. It won’t happen without it.

5. It’s worth it. Seeing the progress of the project along the way is inspiring. Getting to do great work with good friends is encouraging. Stretching yourself beyond what you think you can accomplish is gratifying. Having other people experience and appreciate it is amazing. In the end, when it’s all said and done, it’s worth it.

What have you learned about the work of creating new things? What would you add to this list?