Hey everyone! I’m sure some of you have noticed I haven’t done my Wednesday Writing Video or Thursday creativity blog post in a few weeks. The only reason posts have been going up on here at all is because I had some quote pictures and interviews scheduled out in advance.
The past couple of weeks have been a little crazy for me. I’ve had a ton of work, some urgent/personal things have come up, and then as if that weren’t enough, I got sick. Sometimes the only time I actually slow down and stop working/creating is when I get sick, which is why my body has to break down every now and then and force me to PAUSE.
This got me thinking. In our fast-paced modern culture (especially for those of us who live in America), there can be a tendency to go, go, go. I know a ton of people who spend way too much time working (myself included). But sometimes some of us can apply this work ethic to our creativity or our art. For those of us who are creating in addition to working a day job or working on other things that will help us to pay the bills, it can get easy to get burnt out. Also, many creative people that I know (also myself included) suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety, which can sometimes make it difficult for us to maintain this pace.
I produce a lot of content. There’s the content that I write to pay the bills–web content and marketing content–and then there’s my own creative content (my novels, plays, songs, etc.). There’s also my YouTube videos, this blog, and all of my social media channels. There’s so much pressure to have a “platform” that it can get to a point where we start to feel guilty if we’re not doing a blog post, a video, or an Instagram photo every day. (I also really enjoy all of the content I create, which can sometimes make it difficult to make myself hit the pause button.)
Here’s the thing, though. It’s so much more productive to take mini-breaks throughout the day or week than it is to just go, go, go until your body or your life forces you to take a longer break. It’s so important to take care of ourselves–whether that’s by taking a short meditation break throughout the day, going for multiple ten-minute walks, taking a long lunch, or even just taking weekends off. I know how hard this can be, though, especially when you enjoy the work you’re doing. (Whenever I write one of these creativity tip blog posts, I’m always writing advice I need to listen to myself!)
Taking a break replenishes our creativity as well. You can’t just produce, produce, produce, whether you’re writing songs or acting in plays or creating paintings. I remember when I published book two in The Muse Chronicles last November, I was so focused on moving on to write book three that I didn’t really take the time to appreciate what I had accomplished. And I think it’s because I’ve put so much pressure on myself in the writing of book three that I’ve had so much trouble with it.
Here is your daily reminder to take a break. Take a break from work. Take a break from producing. Even take a break from creating. Go for a walk, meditate, listen to some music, watch a movie, read a book. Consuming the work of other creatives is often the best way for us creative people to take a break. It not only replenishes our creative well, but it can also inspire us.
So make sure you’re taking care of yourselves, creatives. And I will try to do the same.