Being an Independent Creative (4/4): It’s OK to Want a Break

Every so often we simply need a break. We need to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Sometimes this is a choice. We take ourselves on holiday and cut ourselves off from our everyday surroundings. Sometimes though this isn’t an option, we plummet downwards until eventually our brain subconsciously decides for us “STOP”, this is when too much is simply too much, and your body will take control in possibly the most horrible ways it can think of. It’s important to recognise these times before they arrive and make a decision to take a break. Choose to do this yourself don’t wait for your body to force you into it.

Taking a break to re-evaluate helps yourself and those around you. Unfortunately though being an independent creative can mean that you have to come to this realisation on your own rather than with others, and this can be difficult; REALLY difficult.

Often we want to succeed and do well, we want to achieve what we have set out to achieve and do what we believe others expect us to do, but unless those achievements are truly our own passion and what we want to do we’ll subconsciously sabotage ourselves and those around us. I’m not of the opinion that we should ever change ourselves for others but I certainly believe that we should make a decision to change if it could be affecting others as well as ourselves. It’s unfair to take others down or slow somebody else if we’re doing the same thing to ourselves, but it’s OK to ask for help. Most will understand and support you.

Take a break, ask for help. You may be surprised that despite being independent that there are others around you who have either been, or are going through the same thing as you.

Searching For Success: Don’t Make Excuses, Make Decisions (3/4)

If you find yourself making excuses for not having achieved a goal, take the following into consideration…

1. The goal you set was unreasonable
2. You don’t care enough about the goal in order to achieve it

If you you take statement 1, and have come to the terms that the goal you set was unreasonable, then all you need to do is simply rethink your goal. Take the goal and stretch the timeline to something that’s more reasonable, or reconsider the steps that you need to take in order to achieve your goal. By doing this you may find that reaching your original goal may come more easily. Perhaps you need to simplify what needs to be achieved first in order to ease yourself in to the larger picture. It’s easy for us to set ourselves too high an expectation, and setting such high expectations is another way that creative depression can creep in.

If you’ve come to the realisation that statement 2 is true, then this isn’t time to worry. Take it as a wake up call. Maybe you would like to be doing something different, or have said yes to a job that you should in fact have said no to in the first place. Maybe it’s too early to be focusing on this job, or maybe it’s too late. Find another goal that you feel passionate about now and focus on that. Perhaps you will come back to your original goal, perhaps not. Whatever you chose will be the best decision for you.

When I’m in the creative zone and writing music, I often find statement 2 to be more true than statement 1. The reason begin that I may have started writing a piece of music, but despite having spent a lot of time on it, I in fact don’t like it; which leads me to not caring about it enough to finish it. This is often a sign that I need to move on. I can spend hours, days, weeks, months or years working on said piece of music, but until I find that creative spark that leads to my fascination in the piece again, I know that my time can be better spent on something else.

Don’t be afraid to set projects aside, don’t make an excuse, make a decision. Ask yourself: Does this piece of work deserve anymore of my time as much as something else? Will I achieve more by doing something else? Will I be happier if I do something else which I will more likely succeed in?

These questions may not just relate to your creative decisions but also your life decisions. Think about everything you do in life. Does each thing deserve your time as much as your creative work? Will you achieve more if you stopped doing something in order to focus on your creative work? Will you be happier and more likely to succeed if you make these decisions?

The answer to the majority of these questions are likely to be yes. Make a decision to change rather than use anything as an excuse.