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Step Away

A dangerous moment for any creator is the sinking, crushing, distracting feeling that one is spinning one’s wheel. Sometimes it is not even as cut and dry as the creator’s block. On occasion, it could be a general distaste for the story you are working on, where it took a new direction that you hadn’t already fleshed out beforehand. It is a similar feeling as to having plans already made, and then they are forcibly adjusted at the last second. 

In these moments, sometimes the healthiest thing to do is to step away. Go take a walk, hang out with your family, shred on a guitar, or work on a different project. I encourage any creative types to always have multiple projects that could be worked on, even if one is taking more of a precedent over the other. This allows you to jump into another outlet, another world of creativity, and might even give you enough of a reason to come back to the initial task. Use the brainstorming technique in these kinds of moments. Brainstorming not only helps you build a new story, but it can also help you empty the thoughts and feelings that could be distracting you.

Stepping away for a short time can also help you realize the over-analyzation that many of us tend to bring into our work. How seriously are you taking your work, versus how serious should you be taking your work? By that I mean; don’t let your outlook on your work hurt your relationships with others. Yes, you should treat your work with fervency and professionalism; but, self-abuse can ruin your life in many other ways. Take your work seriously, but don’t let it rob you of the fun that got you into it in the first place. 

An extra pro-tip; surround yourself with creative people. Many times, if I feel like I have walked into a corner with a particular story, or I just feel drained, I like to get into conversations with other creative persons. Creativity is contagious, and it can spark you in just the right way to get back into the right mindset for the project at hand. Also, you never know if you could be helping to spark someone else as well.

Aaron Dowen is a comic book writer, ICD News Editor, and owner of Catalyst Comics Studio LLC

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