As a writer, artist and overall creative person, in order to continue doing your work, you need a constant flow of new ideas. Running out of new ways to connect to your audience is nearly a death spell for your work.
Sure, a few past examples of your work may be standalone achievements, but most likely, you’ll need to continue working to build a thriving business. So, what do you do when you’re running low on ideas and can’t seem to get projects finished? You need to build a creative fortress.
Building a creative fortress enables you to focus much more effectively on the task at hand, and actually get it done. You see, many writers and creative people seem to think it’s okay to just float about your day gathering ideas, without actually executing and doing things. Quite the opposite is true. The most successful and famed creatives (as well as the happiest) are those who actually get their work done, then bring it to the world.
First off, select the project you most need to get done, and commit to it. You can’t hope to go anywhere with your writing or your business until you build conviction and habits over your work. You must enjoy the work itself enough to see it through to completion.
Take a moment and structure your work as well. How long do you want the finished product to be? How many chapters will it have? Do you need an outline for each chapter? Who is your target audience? These questions need answers in order to flow smoothly in your work.
Also, set a time frame for how much you’ll work on the project today, get it done, and then leave it alone. Too many writers either never get anything of substance done, or they overwork themselves and call it “industry”. Both are bad for your brain, your heart and your soul. The best habit to cultivate is doing a concrete amount of work each day, then wrapping it up and enjoying the rest of your day.
Find one project you can stick with for this week, and work on it – authentically. You don’t necessarily need to only work on this project for the next month (or year), but the fastest way to get multiple things done is to do one at a time. This will also reveal to you what you can do better next time.
Completing a project all the way from top to bottom allows you to observe the weak spots in your craft. Yes, I said it – the weak spots. Everyone has areas they can improve, even the pros. Everyone does a few things extremely well, and for the rest, we can learn from each other. Plus, remember – if your work were perfect, it would mean you aren’t a human!
You must face your fears in order to do your best work. There’s always a reason you’re feeling afraid, but you must look closer at this fear and ask why it’s there. The hardest part of finalizing a creative work is saying it’s done. This is scary because it’s inches away from being thrust out into the real world, where anyone can criticize it. To defeat your fears, remember this: anything worth doing will almost surely be criticized, but people only criticize things of value. If your work had no value, no attempted grand solution, people would find something else to complain about.
Why are people always complaining about politics, healthcare and religion? It’s because these three things affect essentially everyone on the planet. Are they tough problems with even tougher solutions? Oh, absolutely. People criticize them – not because it actually gets a solution in place, but because they feel like they’re doing something about it.
This is the same reason people will criticize your work. Your work may well be incredible (and probably is!), but people still want to feel like they’re close and intimate with your work. It often comes out of hidden jealousy or insecurity.
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Brad Johnson is an online entrepreneur and author of multiple books who focuses on helping writers build a legacy through their message and helping artistically-bent entrepreneurs win. His books include Ignite Your Beacon, Writing Clout and Tomes Of A Healing Heart. Brad Johnson is also an expert Lifehack writer, having achieved over 10,000 article shares to date.