Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Downtime in Creativity

Creative endeavors are hard.  They seem to go in a cycle of a heavy burst of productivity, and then lots of downtime where not much gets done.  It's hard to accept that downtime.

I always want to be productive somehow, working on something that is important to me.  For example, I'm working on creating a game.  I would love to work on my game more, but I just don't feel like it lately.  So then I feel guilty and beat myself up for not working on it.  I feel like I should be working on it when I have time to.  Sometimes all I need is to actually sit down and look at it for a bit.  Other times when I sit down to actually work on it, I get nothing.  No inspiration at all.  Sometimes I will sit and force myself to come up with something but then I usually have to redo it later because it's just not very good. 

So instead I have no choice but to get away from it for awhile.  Sometimes even months pass where I don't even look at it.  Downtime.  Focusing on other things.  Letting myself rest for awhile.  I'm still very passionate about completing it, but I just can't focus on it anymore at this moment.  It took me a long time to figure out that downtime is ok.  It's just part of how things work.  You have to let go a bit.

It's odd.  Sometimes forced downtime like that is what drives us out of our normal routine or comfort zone.  I would like to work on this, but I can't.  Now what do I do?  At times this new difficulty ends up helping us grow so that when we come back to our creative endeavor we are even better able to work with it.  It's neat how that works.

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