I like to think that the longer you wait for something, the sweeter it is. The only issue here is that so much time is spent waiting that the payoff needs to be magnificent in order to justify the wait-time.
So I’ve developed a habit whereby I both work towards the thing and began planning for the post-thing. It means when I get the boost from completion of whatever task, I’m already on the move to the one following.
This is why this whole academic gig seems to be the way to go. Unlike pure performance, I miss the “post-show blues” because there is always something coming up afterward. Sure, there’s no massively overwhelming payoff, but there isn’t the associated depression either. Plus – since I’m an ideas man for the most part – it means that the back catalogue of projects is never a waste: any one of them might be the next thing.
That said, my magnum opus, the plan that’s been cooking for a few years now, still exists. The trick is not to peak to early. Also, that very opus is now part of one stream of my work rather than precisely the culmination of everything. I figure if I can have one monster every five years, that leaves more than enough time to enjoy the in between and plan for the sweet hereafter.
The “moment” that occupied all my thoughts around 18 months ago has been replaced with the joys of everything surrounding it instead. Even though I’m more patient, I’m never left waiting. A virtue indeed : )