We need more slow in our creative lives

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We live in a world that is obsessed with more and faster.

When I started to create regularly in 2016, I wanted to do it all. I wanted to stuff as many different creative projects into my life as possible. Quickly finish my first novel. Learn to paint and open an Etsy shop. Post on Instagram every day. Write one blog post and one email for my Teacup Owls every week. While working a 9-5 job.

I did do it for a while, but I couldn’t keep it up. I got stressed and tired and sick of it. I struggled to do anything other than keep my creative life afloat, not finding any time to develop my bigger ideas.

Things finally started to change in 2017 after I read the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

I realized that I was keeping myself from making progress on my goals because I was attempting to do too much.

And I don’t think I’m alone. Actually, I know I’m not. I see my fellow creatives trying to chew off a too big a piece all the time. I see the longing to simplify and slow down. I see the struggle to find enough time for our dreams.

What started as a search for a better way of approaching my goals have grown into something more. A different way of thinking about the creative process. Actually, a different way of approaching life.

And I want to talk about it more. Why? Because I need it. I think our creative community needs it. We crave more time but time is finite and so is energy. We need a better way of working and the answer is not productivity hacks.

I want to help creatives make their brave ideas happen in a slower and more mindful way.

I don’t want to help people cram more things into their lives, sacrifice their health for their dreams or hustle harder.

I want to help people work to make their ideas happen at a pace that feels good. I want to help people choose less but what’s really important. I want to help people find balance and make room for both rest and creative growth.

Dream-chasing is associated with hustling. We’ve all heard it - if you want your dreams to come true you need to work hard. Blood, sweat and tears.

But just because bringing an idea to life is hard doesn’t mean you have to do it at as fast as possible.

We have the same ideas around facing our fears. Create so fast you don’t have time to stop and feel the fear. Do it quickly - just rip the band-aid off! But I wonder, how often does these methods work in the long run?

We think we have to go fast to keep momentum up, to make a steady progress. But I’d like to argue that it’s quite the opposite. When we go too fast, we burn out fast, and the progress we were making comes to a screeching halt.

A slower pace does not have to mean a slower progress.

The more I scratch the surface of our ideas around why the hustle is important, the more I realize that another way is possible. Better even.

I think it’s time we busted some myths. I’ve started scratching and the itch is only getting stronger. This is too important.

I see so many creatives who long for a slower life, but don’t know how to attempt it while also making steady progress towards their goals. We’ve started thinking that a bit of stress is just part of the deal.

But it’s not and it’s a dangerous road to normalize and even glorify stress, when it affects both our physical and mental health. I don’t want our creative projects to ever play that role in our lives.

To live slower and simpler is an ongoing, quiet revolution, perhaps one of the most important of our generation. It’s one I want to be part of.

Do you want to join me?