Everything has a season. Fashion. Weddings. Finals. And of course, nature. Everything has a time to come and a time to go. So if there is a season for everything from crops to crop tops, it stands to reason there is a season for your work. But we get so invested. We get so attached to it. We don’t allow it to breathe because we just want to harvest, harvest, harvest.
And for what? Another blog post that doesn’t quite ring true? Another audition that didn’t quite have the energy we wanted? Another business transaction that we hurriedly hustled?
We have got to honor the season to honor the work.
Honoring the season means realizing when you're falling short due to creative fatigue. Now you might be in a highly productive season and still miss the mark here and there, but there is a distinct difference between missing the mark and going against your gut. Your gut, natural and visceral as it is, knows when it’s time to slow the pace.
Take a look at your schedule. What does it feel like when you look at it? What drove you to create it the way that it stands? Does it look frenetic? Unkempt? Random? Or is there a subtle order to it? An ebb and flow that feels manageable and perhaps even excites you?
Money-driven scheduling (or worse affirmation-driven scheduling) doesn’t take into account the seasons. It only wants the bottom line: Did you make the money? Did others get what they want? Heart-driven scheduling, on the other hand, takes into account desire, joy, creative longevity. It thrives off the journey and the daily joyful tasks, not the end result. If we know this deep in our bones, then why do we idolize the constant busy-ness of our schedules? Ray Bradbury had an interesting idea about this:
"Why is it that in a society with a Puritan heritage we have such completely ambivalent feeligns about Work? We feel guilty, do we not, if not busy? But we feel somewhat soiled, on the other hand, if we sweat overmuch.
I can only suggest that we often indulge in made work, in false business, to keep from being bored. Or worse still we conceive the idea of working for money. The money become the object, he target, the end-all and be-all. Thus work, being important only as a means to that end, degenerates into boredom. Can we wonder then that we hate it so?
Nothing could be further from true creativity."
What if we just unhooked ourselves for a season? For an instant? For 24 hours? Whatever we can get? What if we stopped creating for just a moment so we could let the world create onto us and into us? What if we allowed the boldness and heartiness of our creative crops to rise up by letting the productive engines of our minds rest? Just for a cycle.
My guess is we would reap more than we could imagine.
What happens to your work when you give yourself a creative rest?
Photo via Craig Hanson Photography.