Creative people so often harbor big, ambitious ideas for projects, then life takes over, and those projects get put on the back burner.
But that doesn’t mean those projects are dead. No—we then lie awake thinking about those ideas, hating ourselves for not doing more to make them real.
Not knowing how to take control of your time and focus, how to make the time and space for sustainable creative practice can make you feel like you’re floundering in the deep end.
Anxiety over the complexity and enormousness of creative projects can be overwhelming, but it’s not a prerequisite for a creative life. There is a better way.
With Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life, readers pin down the specific obstacles that are preventing them from getting their work done, make clear-eyed choices about what they want to devote their attention to, and build a system that will get them across the finish line.
Growing Gills is a powerful, actionable book that takes readers from overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck, to consistent, clear, and in control of their creative lives.
Cartoonist and coach Jessica Abel is the founder of the Creative Focus Workshop. She works with ambitious mid-career creative pros and businesses to escape the hamster wheel of busyness and carve out the deep focus needed to finish—and launch—the game-changing work they want to be known for. Jessica is the author of Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life, the graphic novel La Perdida, and two textbooks about making comics, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics. Her book Out on the Wire is about how the best radio and podcast producers in the world use story to keep us listening. Jessica’s latest work of fiction is the Eisner-nominated Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars. She is chair of the illustration program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Credit: Photo by Maria Teicher
Go from overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck, to consistent, clear, and in control of your creative life.
You’re a creative person. Even if you have a hard time calling yourself a “writer” or an “artist” in public, making your creative work is core to who you are and how you see the world. You may be nurturing a big, ambitious idea for a project. Possibly a lot of them.
And it’s killing you.
You lie awake thinking about it. And then in the morning you’re exhausted, and you can’t believe you “wasted” more time on this stupid idea. You try to shove your idea away. But your creative work is what keeps you sane. You can’t not do this. So you live with guilt and anxiety all the time.
Maybe you’ve tried to borrow time-management tips from the business world, but the problem isn’t simply getting “things” done, it’s allowing yourself to devote precious time and attention to the vital, self-generated creative work that builds toward your vision for the future.
But the life you’re living is already full. You’ve made a lot of promises, to yourself, your family, your friends, and your community, that you’ll be there for them. Where, exactly, can you find that mythical Creative Focus Unicorn?
Growing Gills takes you step by step through the process of pinning down exactly what’s stopping you from finishing your beautiful, inventive, and potentially game-changing projects, and overcoming those obstacles.
In Growing Gills, you’ll discover that the power is already within you to make your work.