Work can be addictive. Whether that means you’re a tremendously driven person born with pure zest for life or you have a daunting pile of projects making your brow sweat and your ears ring, work can be difficult to step away from. For instance, it is 11:39 p.m. on a Wednesday, and I just popped up out of bed to begin this cautionary tale. That’s exactly the kind of thing I want you to avoid within the constructs of this blog post. What can I say? I’m a hypocrite.
Being a creative is a beautiful thing. Going to work for us means waking up each day to use our imaginations, to craft wonderful advertising and marketing pieces for our clients. It’s both rewarding and it’s stimulating, but every great thing comes with a price.
My father always told me to strive to excel in whatever I aspired. If I was going to be a garbage woman, be the best damn garbage woman on the planet. He instilled that work ethic and drive in me, and I thank him for it. Everyone should work that vigorously. Hard work and passion should be the foundation of any career, but there is always a point where it’s necessary to slowdown, pull back and do something for yourself.
I’ve seen so many creatives burn out because they push themselves to a breaking point and the creativity seems to cease flowing. Creative block is a cruel, cyclical beast, and sometimes the only way to tame that beast is to treat it like a fifth grade bully. Ignore it and walk away.
We all have crazy deadlines and seemingly endless list of priorities (in all industries, not just creative), but regardless of how insane life can become and how cliché it sounds, take a step back and take a moment just for you. Get back in touch with your life and whom you are — the ideas will flow once more.
Step away from everyday and reconnect with what you find inspiring — those small things that drive your creativity. Lie in the grass and take in the chirping crickets and the songbirds’ melodies. Read a quixotic novel or a melodramatic memoir. Listen to a song that transforms the room. Sip milkshakes with your family in a park and fly kites. Travel to a new place. Eat an exotic dish. Do whatever you do, but get back to the essence of who you are. Because at the end of the day, that’s all we’ve got, and that’s the soul of the work we put out.