There are days that sit in between one’s most productive days; they perch halfway in between relaxation and frustration. They’re relaxing because you find yourself somewhat able to recuperate in your mind, but are frustrating for almost the same reason—you feel lazy, unproductive, distracted. Some of these days aren’t so bad, and you might enjoy the reprieve a bit. And still many of them are terrible because what have you got to show at the end of the counting hours?
These are the days which all creative types loath. You can’t hate them fully because you know in the back of your mind you need to take days to breathe, to recharge and reset. But we hate them nonetheless because our minds are most always on—they never turn off and we like it that way.
It’s hard as a creative type—particularly as a writer—to accept that these stretches of time are necessary. In the end, we simply can’t be on all the time, though we try to fool ourselves into thinking so. We might like to believe that we can forge ahead—push through—on a creative and/or intellectual level, but it’s rarely ever our best work. Many times it’s a placeholder for the better work to come. Sometimes it’s that push-through right after those sorts of days that we are most proud of in our work portfolio.
Take a day to breathe every now and then—the work only really suffers when you burn out completely.
Today was day 2 of TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, but what really excited me today was the announcement by a friend of mine that she’s starting a small arts and writing publication. As much as I enjoyed watching TCDisrupt today, it was almost overshadowed in a sense by getting that message in my inbox. I’m still incredibly attached to my writing (as one can tell) and my art, and the chance to present it publicly (however minor) thrills me beyond measure. I suppose that’s part of identifying as an artist: any possibility of an exhibition of your work immediately takes on a whole new exciting tone when one considers it as a viable possibility.
Delusions of grandeur aside, the thrill that comes from doing a small art exhibition, or seeing a piece of yours published somewhere other than your own blog, is something that we creatives live for. In the end, it’s not about being the next great whatever; it’s about creating something and knowing that someone somewhere will see it. That dynamic of produce and consume is innate in all creative souls, and something which drives us every morning to make something new. For me, I’ll be looking into my portfolio soon to see which pieces I’d like to send her first.
I often think that I would like to write a screenplay. Nothing major, but something to augment the other forms of writing I already have in my portfolio. Just as a programmer sets out to learn a new coding language, so too do I find that only through continuous expansion of my writing skills will I be able to best serve myself in life, both personally and professionally.
Yet inasmuch as I would like to take a week and put pen to paper (or keyboard, as the case my be), I nonetheless find myself somewhat shy about attacking a new form of communication and expression that I have no experience in. This is what confuses me greatly.
I should have no hesitation in it—after all I’m quite comfortable writing poetry or short stories, things which others might never dream of spending their free time doing. But just as learning a new language (programming or otherwise) is daunting in the beginning, so too do I look up at the precipice above me and wonder how I could ever make it to the top and master such a craft. Yet in the end, I still force myself to produce a few words, even if they’ll be gone in the morning. The sheer act of being able to produce something—if only for a time being—is something that spurs me on to continue to hone new crafts.