Knowing When It’s Time To Take A Step Back

At some point in your artist’s journey, you’ll find yourself hitting a wall with a creative project. The project you were once passionately excited to start suddenly feels like homework you resent.

If this starts to happen, then it may be time to take a step back from your creative project- here are a few ways to know when to know it is time:

  • It no longer brings you joy. Back in 2010, Marie Kondo published “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“. And in the late 2010s, her practice boomed in popularity. The tidying practice involves ridding of things that no longer bring us joy. While it predominantly relates to objects, you can still use it in other aspects of your life- including creative projects. As artists, we strive to spread joy and entertainment through our work, but that cannot happen if you’re not experiencing those feelings while creating. Take a step back to evaluate whether or not your creative project still brings you joy. Does the project idea still excite you? If not, it may be time to take a break.
  • You’re no longer benefitting from it. It’s time to take a step back from a creative project if it isn’t beneficial to the time and money you spend on it. For example, a podcast you created isn’t picking up and generating the revenue that you were hoping for. Not all creative projects have to be generating revenue. Some projects are hobbies. Hobbies can also be beneficial because they provide us with learning new skills as well as improving the ones we already have. However, it’s time to take a step back from a creative project if it isn’t beneficial to all the time and energy you put into it, especially if you’re no longer learning and improving your skill sets.
  • Your project isn’t making sense. Sometimes forcing creativity and imagination can lead to confusing results. If you’re a writer, forcing your creativity may cause your story to become non-sensical and lacking structure. There may be a few reasons your project isn’t making sense, such as burnout, lack of motivation, etc. If that’s not the case, maybe you need to step back to work on skillsets that will help you take your creative project to the next level. If you’re an aspiring screenwriter, check out our “Kickstart Your Screenwriting course”. There are also plenty of books, podcasts, courses, and videos out there that will help you figure out how to make your project make sense.
  • It can no longer become a priority. Our lives outside of being artists have to take top priority. Whether it’s for health, family matters, or your day job- it’s crucial to take a step back to focus on prime issues. Not everyone can skillfully keep a balanced life amid chaos, and that’s ok. When you do eventually get back to your project, you may be able to draw inspiration from the life lessons you learned.

Stepping back doesn’t have to be permanent. Sometimes you need to take a break to rework your idea or tend to other things first. When this happens, don’t feel discouraged. Keep working towards your dreams and goals. 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Artist, Artist on cue, Creativity

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