One Mistake I Make as a Creative

There’s one sin I commit as a creative. And it takes a toll. I try avoiding the same mistake each day. The mistake? Stopping creative work.

Stopping because I feel lazy, need a pause, or because I’ve worked too hard the day before. Either way, what I’ve realized is that stopping work or taking lengthy gaps is a poor idea.  

Regardless of which aspect of creativity your work involves, giving up discipline works against you. The moment you break the momentum, your creativity dwindles.

The next time you sit to work, it’s not the same magic. You need to slog harder. That’s when you wish you had remained consistent.

Here’s a simple thing I’ve realized

Work is a lot easier when you show up each day and warm up your creative nerves. However, when you put aside your job and pick it up on a random fortnight, it’s tougher.

As a creative person – whether you paint or dig rock songs – remain consistent and stay close to your work. In short, create stuff often and be honest to your craft. It’s easier that way.

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to wake up at 5 a.m. and slog to prove your dedication. But ensure that you keep tinkering with your craft. Keep doing something.

When you’re used to being creative each day, it’s easier to churn out more ideas. You become capable of doing great work without banging your head against the wall. The right thoughts naturally come to you. The process remains pretty smooth.

You rock it.

Though, the trouble starts when you lose the consistency.

When you don’t work for a day and then procrastinate for a week, your work seems difficult. Going back to it feels daunting. Your brain freezes. Creativity halts.

Sure, you may have done great work in the past. You may still be capable of doing so. But in the moment, while you’re holding that guitar or trying to put that pen to paper, you need to gather a lot of energy to start again.

That sucks.

The fix?

Use your creative gears regularly to prevent them from breaking down. Explore your work, admire it, and find something to do.

Keep moving, fast or slow. As creative people, we cannot afford to stop – and that’s one of those qualities which make us, showing up.