Why I Took a 5-Month Creative Break
If I’m not creating anything, that’s not because I don’t have any ideas. It’s because I have too many ideas and the thought of executing them exhausts me. Or maybe it scares me. Intimidates me? My fear is that the final outcome won’t be anything like what I envisioned. And that means I wasted my own time.
As a young creator, it’s easy to feel insecure about your craft. You have all the passion in the world, but lack the confidence you need to say, “f*ck what everyone else thinks, I’m running with this idea.” I can relate. Now that I’m in my mid-20s, I’ve found myself in this weird stage where I feel like I’m too old to not be further in my career, yet too young for anyone to trust me with more responsibility. This self-doubt has crippled me.
Over the last few months, I’ve been hesitant about writing personal pieces. Client work has been my safe space because my name isn’t attached to anything publicly. And that’s another fear – having to hold myself accountable for putting out shitty work. But solely executing for other people and not myself has left a void. And instead of grabbing my laptop and typing nonsense, I took a few months to bury my head in the books.
All of those insecurities I have about my work tells me that I have room to grow. I’m aware that I don’t know everything, but I do know enough to figure out what I need to improve on if I want to be a better writer, editor, marketer, interviewer, or strategist. So I told myself that if I’m not in the right headspace to create, then I should take that time to become a student again.
The 5-month creative break wasn’t a complete break. I still worked full-time and took on as many freelance projects as I could handle. But when it came to my own work, I decided to step away. I ordered $130 worth of books on Amazon, registered to every free online class I could find, and read pieces from all of my favorite writers. And when I wasn’t in this imaginary classroom, I journaled. Self-reflection set that fire under my ass.
Now, this post isn’t to explain why I was a bit absent. In fact, I don’t know if people will even realize that this is my first post of 2020. And I honestly don’t care. I’m putting this out there for anyone else who’s felt paralyzed. This is a reminder that feeling unproductive doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It just means your mind is taking a break so you have the energy to properly execute your next big idea. Take your time.