Keeping the Creative Engine Running

This year, my creative engine was running at full-steam. New projects, new clients, new experiments.

Yet, I didn’t find the growth I was hoping for.

My engines were working overtime, the wheels were turning and I was definitely moving the whole time, so why didn’t I reach the destination?

I couldn’t choose a direction.

Always moving forward, sure, but I was easily distracted by side roads, detours and shiny objects.

I ended up driving in full-powered circles thinking I was going to end up miles ahead.

I’m Not Good at Quitting

As a creator, I love starting new projects and uncovering new ideas. But I’m terrible at quitting things.

What ends up happening is I keep starting new things, without clearing other projects. I spread myself too thin and don’t dig into one idea deep enough.

Related: How to Stay Focused as a Creator

This habit caught up to me, and I had to stop spinning in circles and make some decisions so my creative work could be sustainable.


Is It Time to Quit or Time to Simplify?

Cutting down projects is hard. To make these choices, I had to weigh all of my projects on a few scales.

  • What’s paying my bills?
  • What brings me the most joy?
  • What feels like work?

Of course, I have to keep feeding my family so there needs to be extra focus on the projects paying the bills.

The next most important is where I get the most joy. The project that brings the most joy should be put on a pedestal, with everything else simplified to allow more time on it. 

The ones that feel like work aren’t helping bring me that joy, and should be cut first.

… And that’s the story of why I’ve reconfigured my focus to be the Creator’s Notes Newsletter.

This essay was first shared in the “Creator’s Notes” Newsletter.

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It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and think of yourself as a quitter when we stop a project. Try re-framing it as “simplifying” and make your life easier.

Remember, creating things should still be fun.

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