I would wager that it is a fair amount, maybe even everything you’ve got?
How sustainable do you think that is in the long term? Doesn’t your creation deserve some measure of consistency?
As we all know, in life you get back what you put in. The same is true for your writing. The more of your passion and love you put into it, the greater the end result will be.
This process is very energy-intensive. A day at the keyboard can often result in a day (or more) of recovery time. It is every writer's natural instinct to give absolutely everything you have got in the tank. Nobody exhausts their mind quite like an author.
Your creation, your current writing project, is your baby. You want to give it the best possible start to life. You are excited about what you will uncover as your story progresses. It is an exhilarating time.
You, as a writer/author, will burn brighter and hotter than the sun, but that flash will be as brief as lightning. Don’t be lightning!
Sustainability is the part of creativity that people often leave out of the conversation. Some might say that sustainability isn’t even possible. I fervently disagree.
Working on your art in fits and starts is an inefficient and energy-intensive process. It is the number one reason that writers and artists burn out. They throw everything they have got in the tank, and more, at their creation. They create something that starts off beautifully and ends with a crash. A crash that few recover from.
For those who achieve sustainability, it is a very different story. There are many popular examples of this, like Stephen King and so many others who have put out consistently high-quality work over a long and healthy career. Their art reaches the world and they are able to experience the impact their creation has on so many lives.
If you are working on your project, your latest masterpiece, and you are working yourself to exhaustion, then you are denying the world your creation in its ultimate form and will likely see little impact from your work. It is just not a sustainable exercise and it is vital for your creativity and your well-being that you do something about it.
To make the process sustainable all you really need to do is to set a start time and a finish time. It is very simple but it is really powerful, it just requires some commitment on your part.
That commitment to start and stop at those set times is not really a commitment to starting and stopping, you are committing to your future self's ability to create.
Set an alarm for your stopping time, you will need it. Once in the flow of creativity, time will cease to exist from your perspective. It’ll be hard to pull yourself away but it is vital that you do.
As well as making your creative writing a more sustainable activity, it will also help take some of the pressure off. On those days where things are not quite going to plan you will always have an exit in place. To throw in a cliche, you will always be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Check out this YouTube video for more on setting boundaries with your time and how it can help you.
Written By Mike on 10.05.2021