If you’ve created anything to a prolific extent, rather as a personal hobby or as a career, then odds are good that you now have a title attached to you. Now, that title is no different than any other job title in the world, in theory. In practice it is so much more, sometimes because of outside forces, but often enough because of yourself. Let’s stick with authors/artist(in my opinion, they are both artists of different mediums but we can get into that another day) for general terms for this article.
A lot of newer creators, myself included, reach this point where they obtain their respective creative title. You always have that title, of course, but when you reach the point that friends and mutual acquaintances know you as an author, painter, artist, etc. it has a special feeling to it. It is amazing and you should be so proud of yourself! But! It comes with a new type of pressure as well. You feel as though you have to always be the image associated with that title for outward appearance.
You’ll feel like everything you do has to be *insert title here*ly. You’ll feel like all of life has to viewed and approached through the lens of this new pressure. The truth is, you don’t always have to do all of that. Now that is not to say that you shouldn’t pull inspiration from life. Life imitates art and the opposite is true too.
There are many times that you will be inspired when you are not doing an activity related to your work. Snatch those moments, make notes of the idea, but do not try to force it or else you’ll be reading an article about burn out. For the most part, just live your life and aspire to create great art.
I’ll use myself and my wife as examples for this. I’m author with my debut novel and a separate short story published, and a sequel due out by spring of 2022. My wife is an artist for a full time job. I doubt I have to say it but we have a creative disaster zone of lives most days. Our kitchen table stays piled up with paint tubes, lost pens, scrap papers, and the occasional cat more than it actually holds food. Our desks look a recycling bin threw up on them most days. Bookshelves are overflowing, at least one easel is set up somewhere in the house, and one of us always has a sketch pad laying somewhere.
All of that is to say that our lives stay pretty focused on the creative side, but that does not mean that we do not “clock out” at times. We have a small farm that we have to keep up and running, I guarantee you that we are not portion feed and throwing haybales while in the “authorly/artistly” mindset. When I chill out on the rare occasion to play a videogame, work and creating is the last thing on my mind, I’m playing the game to relax afterall!
If you took other job titles for instance, you do not expect them to relate to every aspect of the persons life. If Jill Somename is a bartender then you do not expect her to be a bartender when she is sitting in traffic to go pick up a package at the post office. Do not expect that of yourself when you know it is just extra stress.
Snag your inspiration when you can. Live your life as fully and as well-rounded as you want to. Take your down time and let your mind rest. The brain needs a break no different than the rest of your body.
I hope that some newer creative out there who is struggling with this problem gets even a little bit of help from it. I know the headache it can be. Enjoy your life, craft some amazing things, and don’t forget to sit and sip your coffee when you can!
Here are some other articles that you may find helpful:
Here are some free short stories by Jimmy Anderson that you might enjoy
Keep an eye out for the The Rose Chronicles Book 2 coming Winter 2021/Spring 2022. Vince Rose takes to the high seas to catch the World Council’s attention on his quest to topple them. Will he accomplish the goal he has worked towards since he was a child, or will he be forced to admit defeat?
Likewise, you can get caught up on the origin of it all with THE ROSE CHRONICLES: SINK OR SWIM. A synopsis of book one will be included at the start of the sequel for those who wish to skip the slower paced origin(I completely understand).