Stop beating yourself up. Start making your work.
There’s something that happens when you’ve been doing your thing for awhile, maybe a long while. You’ve gotten reasonably good at what you do. You have big ideas about where to go with it. But actually doing the projects, it’s so hard. Maybe even harder than it was back when you got started down this path.
You start to think:
What’s wrong with me that I can’t get my work done?
Is it absolutely necessary that it be this hard?
Maybe I’m just not creative enough.
But stopping is not an option either.
Maybe you’ve tried that, and it just makes you miserable.
In a fit of Googling, you reach out, looking for some insight, something or someone that will help you take control of your creative projects.
Good news: You found it. That’s exactly what I do.
I’m cartoonist and author Jessica Abel, and I help creative people make their ambitious ideas reality, instead of living in the world of dreams.
I’ve been a cartoonist for 25 years, and a teacher for close on 20, but in the last year, I’ve shifted focus from students in the classroom to fellow creative professionals (and serious non-professionals).
As with most things in my life, I built my particular way of getting work done all backwards and completely on my own terms. Which sounds great on paper, but what it means in reality is that I spent years and years struggling. I reinvented, not just the wheel, but the entire cart. I do what I love and I love what I do, yes, but I did not get here without an incredible amount of work, lots of wrong turns, and many years of only half doing what I love and half not.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it like I did!
The upside of all that struggle out in the wilderness is that, by doing it myself, and only later learning the approaches of various productivity gurus, I could see immediately that there are ways that the standard approach just doesn’t work for creative people. After all: we’re just not about pushing out widgets, we are coming up with new things whole cloth from our brains and hands.
But if you still believe you can’t put a system around your creativity, I’m betting it’s not going very well.
You can build systems that bolster your creative practice. And you should. But they should be your systems, built around the reality and particularities of your life, and the way you work best.
I can help you do that, in my Creative Focus Workshop, and via my strategic blog articles (many with downloadable exercises) and newsletter. But wouldn’t you prefer to start today? Your next step is to identify YOUR conditions for creative success so you can start to make realistic plans and goals, and move towards them. Get my Creative Marathon exercise below, and let’s get this art party started.