In which I question if you can spread your creativity too thin.
Like many Creative Types, I have my main creative thing and my other creative things (did you know I ROCK at descriptive narrative?). You tend to find most writers are in to some other creative outlet, be it music, origami, running (yes, it IS creative and I will explain later), drawing, or pyrography.
Before any of you argue about that, I actually picked creative endeavors my other writing friends are amazing at when they're not building worlds, so I can back up my statement with real people.
Is it possible to spread your creativity too thin? Can you, say, spend so much creativity on your drawing that you simply have none left to work on a story? Is creativity a well or bank account? Can it be depleted, even temporarily?
I say it can. Like, willpower, I think creativity is a muscle. The more you're able to exercise it, the more energy you have. However, you can overwork it and you can try to do too much, like someone who's never run further than a 5k attempting to tackle a marathon without training. You may have a few more than mortals who can do it, but most of us will crash and burn.
What can you do about this? That's what I'm still trying to figure out.
I'm flexing my creative muscle at every chance, but I find that some days I just don't have enough left to accomplish everything I planned. This weekend is a great example of this.
When I could no longer write, I took up knitting. I'm by no means great at it, but I can make recognizable things that some people seem to like using and/or owning.
Now that I AM writing on a daily basis, I often don't have as much time or energy for my knitting. You'd think this was no big deal, but I actually have a metric s#!+ ton of projects I need to get done and out the door.
This weekend I KNEW I wanted to get a major chunk of my novel written up. I knew where it was going and just needed to apply butt to seat and fingers to keyboard. And I did. I threw up words on my screen and got them to cohere in a fairly decent way. When I walked away from the screen, feeling pretty good about that day's work, my heart sank when I saw the knitting project waiting for me.
My mind rebelled. I had just done something creative, why did I have to do more?! (this seems silly in hindsight and it felt just as silly in the moment) I actually went and did dishes rather than sit down on a comfy couch with a soft pup to watch Netflix and knit.
Why in Minerva's name did that seem like such a horrible thing? I had worn out the creative side of me. To be fair, I did knit later that night, but not as much as I could have.
As soon as what you like to do turns in to what you have to do, you can get a little willpower/creativity conflict going on. Chores are not fun. As soon as I felt I had done enough creating, doing more (to me) felt like a chore.
I'm am working on how I say things to myself but I'm a slight pessimist at heart. Surely once I get more into the groove, I will see that 'free time' is whatever I define it as and, hopefully, my creative muscle will be strong enough to handle more than one endeavor.
Do you struggle with creative drain? How do you get yourself out of it?