I’m doing the A to Z Challenge in April using the theme “What to Pack on Your Creative Journey.” It’s always a good practice to pack an umbrella for a rainy day during your journey.
I didn’t invent the rainy day. I just own the best umbrella. ~Jimmy Fallon
Creative journeys, just like real ones, have rainy days. A meteorologist won’t help predict them, but most of us can predict the potential obstacles to completing our creative journey, based on past experience.
Here are stormy events that pop up on my horizon and the protections that I use to keep my creative journey safe and dry:
- Other demands on my time. To complete a creative project, I need to make time for it. Different schedules can work. Two of the most effective techniques are to schedule an hour a day or a day a week to the project. One of the most fun ways to complete a creative project is to devote an entire week to it—it feels like summer camp.
- My inner critics. I develop rituals around inviting my inner critics to take a long walk (I can offer an umbrella, if it’s raining). They are allowed to return for the final ten minutes of an hour’s work to make some notes for improvement during the next work session.
- Down times. I write pep talks to give myself when I feel stalled by fear or fatigue – reminding myself why I wanted to do this project, why I think it’s worth pursuing, and why I thought I was the person for this job.
- Unmet deadlines. I habitually plan to do more than it turns out that I can manage. This used to be terribly discouraging until I found a method that works well for me – rewrite the schedule! A better solution, I suspect, would be to write a realistic schedule in the first place. If anyone has a method for that, let me know. I seem to be an incurable optimist when it comes to writing a schedule for a project.
What brings rain on your creative project? What kind of umbrella will protect you from that rain?