Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


What’s On My Mind on 8-12-16

I still can’t believe that Comic Con’s come and gone, even though my body sure can. Wow, that was a lot of walking… I got to see a lot of great panels and people there, but one of the standouts was the final workshop I went to: Writing Full-Time on a Part-Time Schedule. The notes I took at the workshop were essential to anyone trying to balance their creative and work life, but there are 28 different tips and I don’t want this to be the length of a dissertation. So without further ado, here are some tips on balancing creativity with life itself.

There is sacrifice involved

It’s a sad truth that creativity takes time, which means less free time for all the fun stuff in your life. If you’re balancing your artistic pursuits with a full time job, you’re going to have to decide between your craft and friends/hobbies/video games/etc. It’s good to carve out some time for these things, but you’ll also need to sacrifice some of the fun times to continue your great work.

And that’s okay. Another bullet on the list is, “It’s good to say no,” which is true. Apart from asserting control over your own life, it also builds discipline, which is a great skill for a creator to have. Build more discipline and you can get more stuff out the door before you go senile. But before you think that you’ll have to give up on fun completely…

Avoid burnout by doing things that have nothing to do with your passion

Let’s get one fact straight: your mind is a muscle and working it for so long causes strain. So sometimes, whether in the middle of the workday or on a day off, it’s a great idea to do an activity that has absolutely nothing to do with your creative passion. This can be exercise (which should be done anyway), building a LEGO set, playing cards or board games with your friends, roughhousing with your dog… anything whatsoever as long as it’s not building on your work. That way, your brain gets a chance to stop flexing and recharge. Never underestimate the benefits of distractions.

Get out of the house to work

Libraries. Parks. Coffee shops. These are all your friends if you’re a creative type. Get out and give your brain to extra stimuli to prevent it from stagnating in one closed room. I don’t know the science behind it, but I know through doing it that it works. But if you’re a painter… some venues might not be the best place.

Money is important/Creativity can suck you dry

These are two different points, but they go hand in hand. Being creative is expensive, whether it’s the artist buying supplies, the videographer getting the latest editing software, or the writer subscribing to a Dropbox plan to coordinate with other writers. So yeah, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. That should never be underestimated when taking a creative pursuit, so learn to budget. On top of that, be sure to take gigs that pay. It’s great to talk about doing it for the art, but at the end of the day, everything your body needs costs money. You’ve got talent, so make sure you’re rewarded for it.

Stop quitting, the self-doubt, and the lack of confidence – believe in your work

When everything is said and done, you are the ultimate driving force behind your projects. The saying goes that you’re your own harshest critic, so you need to free yourself from all of the chains that hold you back. If you have anxiety or depression, find resources that can help you with that and learn some self-soothing techniques to mitigate some of the problems. If something always comes up for you to do instead, plan your day out to the letter to make sure that you don’t have an excuse. If you think that your work isn’t good enough or that you’re a failure… do it anyway. Jake the Dog from Adventure Time put it best: “Sucking is the first step to being sorta good at something.” The best path to success is the one where you learn how to fall and get back up again. And remember: you’re the one pitching your work. If you don’t believe in it, why should anyone else?

Hopefully, you’ve found some of these tips useful and your creative life has gotten easier. Join me next week when I talk about my favorite part of Comic Con: all the things they hyped.


Posted under On My Mind

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