Living in the Ebbs and Flows of Creative Life

Some days, all I can think of are the things I want to write. Other days, I can’t believe I ever thought that those ideas were any good, that I’m any good as a writer, and that I even have the audacity to even attempt to show up in spaces with much more talented, legit writers and creatives inhabit.

Some days, I’m so pissed off that the poetry project isn’t out in the world yet, all because of my lack of better financial planning. I feel stuck, held back in the whole process because literally nothing has gone the way I had envisioned with this project.

Today, I’m feeling the weight of everything while I plot out a Science Fiction novel.

All of the tension and frustration is there, but so is the resolution to continue on. Although I am acknowledging the reality of beingĀ  financially and artistically stuck with the poetry project, I’m also somehow able to sit down and work on this next project. I think that this is what it means to keep moving forward as a creative when you aren’t done with one project, but you have others that need to get done, or at least started on.

It could and has been so easy for me to get frustrated with my current project. But guess what? it will get done. It will eventually be out there in the world. I’m still doing what I can to promote it, sure, but I’m saving my energy for when it’s finished and ready to be thrown out into the world, and just doing what I financially can to get the project done.

I’m trying to use my ebbs and flows to keep things going forward. I mean those times when I’m highly motivated to get shit done, but also those times when I’m not writing anything, but the ideas, the words and concepts are germinating for a story or poem.

It’s so easy to get bogged down and feel like you aren’t doing anything at all when you aren’t actively writing or creating.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I sometimes binge watch entire TV series because that show deals with a concept or an idea that I want to explore or write about. Sometimes I will take notes or create an outline while watching, other times, I just soak it all in. While it’s true that I genuinely enjoy watching quality TV (and sometimes I just need something mindless to decompress from the day) I don’t feel bad for not writing those days or nights, because during those times, I’m flowing with my creative process. Sometimes that’s absorption, sometimes that’s putting it down on paper. It all works out in the end, and it’s still something that I’m getting used to listening to and following.

There will always be work that needs to be done for any and all projects I create and release. Sometimes the things that need to get done I’ll be able to plan out and manage (which I greatly prefer) and other times, like right now, I’ll just do my best with what I have.

I hope that you are allowing yourself the time and space to work within your ebbs and flows today, and if you have no idea what I’m even talking about, that’s ok too. Of course there are things you just need to do and get done, this encouragement to follow your creative ebb and flow isn’t license to be lazy or to not get shit done. If you do it right, and as you get more used to your own process and timing, you will find a way to get the tasks done doing the periods of time that correspond to that being most productive and effective for you. I’m still working on this at both being a writer and case manager. Some days, I can create a to-do list, make a dozen phone calls and have most of the tasks done by lunch. Other days, I struggle to make a single call or respond to one email until 3pm. While I start each day with a plan for what needs to get done, I find that I’m most productive at some things first thing in the morning, and that I shouldn’t save some things for the end of the day, or they might not get done. Of course, I can make myself make those phone calls, return the emails and write those case notes at any given time, however sometimes I can do them MUCH better and effectively during particular parts of the day or even the week or month.

Ebb and flow. Germination and creation.

 

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