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Creative Breaks: Why You Should Take One Immediately

by Shane Mehling
creativity

Creative Break

When we leave our houses or apartments and head somewhere else, we (usually) know when we will be back. And while we’re usually focused on the leaving, there is a lot to be said about the coming home.

Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to finish something, or trying to start it, that we end up spending a few anguished moments of our day before we get frustrated and then kick the can down the line, the task always on our mind, weighing us down and pretty much keeping a little black cloud over us. Not only do we not finish our project but we also constantly feel bad about ourselves for being so lazy/uncreative/dumb.

So maybe it’s time to take a vacation.

What that means is you need to make a conscious effort to put away all you’re working on for a long enough time for you to feel disconnected from it. Just like you need a certain amount of time away from home before you feel like you’re actually on vacation, you need to keep your art far from your mind and focus on other things — it can be a different project, a different medium or nothing at all. You can spend a week or two catching up on your Netflix or seeing friends or just staring at a wall.

Shelve it or store it at your friend’s house or email it to them or whatever you can to clear your head of it for as long as you can bear.

The most important part is that when you finally look at your project again you actually feel refreshed and relieved and ready to work. You are no longer spinning your wheels and dreading that moment every day where you think about it. Instead you can look at it with fresh eyes and remember what was so important about it in the first place.

Or, maybe you’ll see that it really wasn’t that great to start off with. Remember, sometimes you take those breaks from something because you weren’t yet ready to let go. So this vacation may finally allow you to see that you were happier without the project, and that it’s time to move on.

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Shane Mehling

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.