If you are a multi-passionate artist, you may have several ways in which you create. Maybe you write, but have several projects happening at once. Or you have multiple projects in different genres. Perhaps your passions live not just in a pen, but a pencil or paintbrush, and your creations want to be born in a different way. Whatever the medium, there may be times when they are all awake and talking to you. Not just talking, demanding that you listen and bring them to life.
When the creations inside you are all clawing, which way do you go first? Often they don’t want to share the spotlight with each other. In my experience, there is usually an alpha. It will lead the pack, push the others aside, snuggle up close to you and steal your heart. This is when binge creating begins.
If you find yourself binge creating on that special one, you may lose track of time, fall behind on goals for the others and suffer terrible guilt for it. Here are five ways to take charge and get back in control.
1) Be ready
As a writer you must have heard the advice of carrying a notebook with you. If you are multi-passionate and on a binge, this is imperative, because the creations inside of you will not want to give you a break, even when you have other responsibilities. For this reason, do not fall into the trap of being too comfortable in your own space. You may think to put your notebook in your purse or backpack when you go out, but when you’re in the comfort of your own home, is it right next you?
It always seems that when I am doing busy work at home, my characters want to talk the most. Often, during these times, the things they say are just brilliant! I’ve had made the mistake of not carrying my notebook with me everywhere…while I’m folding laundry, while I’m cleaning, even while I’m cooking. In the past when this happened, I told myself I would go get my notebook in a second, right after I finished doing whatever it was I was doing…big mistake.
As much I convinced myself I would just be just a second, the thought was gone or diluted by the time I fetched my notebook. If this sounds familiar, here are some ways to be avoid being stranded with nothing to write your thoughts on.
- Stash small notepads and pens strategically throughout your house…in a kitchen drawer, the cabinet in your laundry room, your nightstand drawer, etc…that way you can jot down notes quick when thoughts come to you and not wait.
- Keep your cellphone close by with an app installed that you can write notes in, or use a voice recorder app.
2) Don’t neglect other projects
As the binge continues, the others in the background will have different levels of aggression. Some may whimper and paw at you, while others may tug a little more forcefully. You know you love them all and have great intentions to give them the attention they deserve. A creative binge, while giving you immense joy, can drive you crazy with guilt as well. The guilt is even more intense when you think of the project that has been the quietest and completely left behind. Listen to that guilt, but don’t dwell in it.
This is when setting appointments is key. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with each project, but set a date. I have found that giving myself an appointment with a set amount of time, say thirty minutes per project, is a great way to not feel totally removed from it.
Giving each project a little bit of time will help you stay connected. You will be able to pick up where you left off, and ready when it steals the show.
3) Get up early. Stay up late. Flex your Creative Hustle!
It can be difficult to fit writing into a busy life and schedule. As a multi-passionate artist the mountain can sometimes seem even more daunting. There are just too many projects and too little time. While I believe in prioritizing projects and goal setting, when you are on a creative binge, being disciplined can get away from you. During these wonderfully chaotic creative sprints, it’s understandable to want to be wild and lose control, but the guilt from the others will make this experience less enjoyable.
If you don’t have enough time to binge and make appointments with the others, you will have to find more time. Whether it’s early in the morning, or late at night, you need to make things happen and flex your creative hustle! During these times, to get through the longer days, I have found some things that help.
- A short nap. 20-30 minutes, if you can. It will recharge you and get you through the late night extra hour of writing.
- Meditation. It will clear your mind and help you focus.
- A Walk. Getting out for a walk will invigorate and recharge you.
4) Create Consequences and/or Rewards
If you are still having a difficult time getting control, you may want to resort to a punishment/reward system. One of my bestie writing friends finds great success in reaching her goals by setting up awful punishments if she doesn’t reach them. Usually it has something to do with cleaning.
I have not used the punishment method, but do go for the reward. Sometimes it’s my favorite chocolate. Sometimes pampering, a massage or mani-pedi. Either way, working to earn something nice or avoid something not so nice, can be pretty motivating.
5) Indulge the addiction
After a long and exhausting week of managing your life, work, and the overwhelming desire to do nothing else but binge create on that special one, if the addiction is still there, it’s time to give in.
Reward yourself for a great effort. Give as much time as you want to the binge. Brush off the guilt, let go and indulge!
She is currently working on a Contemporary YA novel and a variety of short stories.
Visit her at lindabernadetteburgess.com