Don’t Break the Chain! Momentum Is Key for Creative Workers

Momentum is like a chain. Each day, each hour, each time you continue doing something, you add another link and, with each link, the chain of momentum not only gets longer, but also stronger. For creative workers (and creative people in general), building that chain can be a difficult start, and maintaining it can be even more so.

We are conditioned to believe that creativity is something that happens in fits and spurts, and that we have to wait for outside influences (like “inspiration” or “motivation” or “ideas”) in order to work on our creative projects. Often, when given advice about working on our art daily or on a regular schedule, we meet this with resistance, saying that forcing ourselves into a schedule will “kill creativity” or “doesn’t match our creative process.”

However, there is something to be said for keeping up our creative pursuits, even if the muse isn’t there. Work begets work, and often the creative process can be honed and sharpened through the very act of creating. We can become better artists just by being more consistent artists, whether we have the time, energy, or creative juice to do it.

On the other side of this equation, many creative people find themselves giving up entirely after too many breaks. You see it everywhere…blog authors saying that they’ll be taking a few weeks off to regroup, YouTube channels going dark because “life got in the way,” painters who haven’t touched a brush in months because they just don’t have the time.

And yes, life does get in the way, and creative ideas come and go, and illness, work, and fatigue can certainly step in front of what we’re doing and often seem much more important to us. Taking breaks and recharging are essential in any field, but in creative fields, it seems that they are easier to take, and have a more deleterious effect on the future of our work than in other fields.

So before you think about stepping away, think about the chain you built, and consider adding just one more link.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Break the Chain! Momentum Is Key for Creative Workers”

  1. How hard it is to build an audience on YouTube has caused me much frustration over the years. I’m sure that that frustration isn’t going to go away any time soon. But I find that being creative provides me with a much needed outlet for expressing myself even when very few people end up seeing the end result of my labor. It’s their loss, I guess. I’ll keep being creative!

    -JP (Egotastic FunTime)

    1. Yes, sometimes creativity has to be its own reward. Also, I think that YouTube is a very difficult place to find an audience these days. The ease of use means there are so many creators and that only a few rise up through the system to be found. I think trying to find as many avenues for your creativity are key, and the fact that you also release on Amazon, for instance, are very good ideas.

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