Your art is always better when it is considered and mindful. Often we rush through projects and artistic endeavors without taking the time to think deeply about them. The urge to get something completed overwhelms our sensibility. We love to run rather than walk.
We spend most of our time spending the creative cash in your mental bank accounts. We simply assume the ideas will continue to come. But what if we take time to consciously invest in our creativity?
If you’re working on a longer project (say a novel, graphic novel, album) a short hiatus might be a good idea. This is a time to doodle, take notes, work on a piece just for yourself. Remember, not everything needs to be monetized.
You can look at an artist or writer or musician you admire with a critical eye. How do they produce their art? What is their process? Start to play around with their techniques and see what works and what doesn’t.
This is not meant to be a time for lazy scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest. This has the illusion of being productive. But it’s a fake out. You aren’t moving forward on anything, just stalling for time.
There are certainly times when you need a mental break from everything but treat this mini-hiatus as work. You are filling up your creative bank account. Instead of focusing on the output (what you can create) you concentrate on the input.
This can also be a time of reflection. What has been going right with your work? What hasn’t. Travel down some “what-if” roads to see if you can shake things up. Create a dedicated Pinterest board for your new ideas. Nothing is set in concrete. This is a time to mess around with ideas. To drive with no destination in mind.
To make sure you don’t wander off into oblivion, set a deadline for yourself. A week or two at most. What’s the point of saving up all that creative energy if you’re not going to spend it somewhere?
Once you have saved a little, get back to work. You may find that you view your project with fresh eyes and a renewed spirit.
Creative energy is not infinite. Sometimes you have to save before you spend.