Balancing Creativity and Life: Sometimes You Need a Break

Have you ever wondered how super-prolific creative people can accomplish so much? They might not be creating things in the way you think. Often, the people who appear to spend all their time being creative, understand balancing creativity and life.

I’ve created a lot in the past 5 years: 4 books, 3 ebooks, multiple blogs, and hundreds of poems and songs. But I’ve also taken long breaks to work on life’s other needs.

Creativity Is Not Always On Time

We all know somebody who’s always late. It can be annoying. Then there are those people who are never late. Creativity is neither on time nor late. It’s unexpected and unexplainable. This isn’t a bad thing. It just makes life a little unpredictable at times.

Here’s how I work:

  1. When creativity calls, follow: Here’s a little secret: Many people who appear to be super prolific year after year have you fooled. For instance, I have hundreds of songs in my back catalog. I wrote the songs in big batches of 20-50 over short periods of time. However, it gave me enough new material to spread out over years. So I’ve learned something. When the creative spirit beckons, follow. You’ll be surprised where it might lead.
  2. When on a roll, stick with it: I stopped posting articles at Hip Diggs in advance this year. I wanted to make Hip Diggs more personal and real. But would you believe me if I told you that at one point I had more than a years worth of twice-per-week posts prescheduled at Hip Diggs? It’s true. Why did I schedule out so far? Because I was on a creative roll and I stuck with it.
  3. When creativity wanders off, focus on the practical: Just as creativity will appear at your door without warning, it will also disappear. When this happens, it’s easy to get frustrated and fear that you’ll never be creative again. Don’t worry, if you’re a creative person, the spirit will return. Rather than trying to force it, I’ve found that returning to practical issues can be just what’s needed. Take care of business. Get your house and yard in order. Spend time with friends and loved ones. Sometimes, the absence of creativity can be a gift for you to get caught up on other important matters in life.

Balancing Creativity Is a Learned Skill

Just like anything in life, balancing creativity with life is a learned skill. It takes time. You need to learn to recognize the creative spirit. You also need to know when to give it a rest. For me, this is something that has developed over years. I used to worry that I’d never write another song or poem, that I was spent.

However, over the years I’ve developed a sense for the ebb and flow of creativity. You can too. The key is in letting go. When you’re struggling to create something, be willing to give it up. It might just be time for a break, time to focus on other aspects of your life. But you also have to be willing to work hard when creativity returns.

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