The benefits of doing creative work in a slower way

The benefits of doing creative work in a slower way

Many of us want to live slower lives, and to do our creative work mindfully and intentionally. I do, and have for a few years now, but it can still be tempting to take on a little too much. Work a little too long. Push yourself harder than you know is wise because you so want to bring to life the thing you’re creating.

We’re passionate about our work after all, and time is often sparse.

In those moments, when we’re tipping the scale away from a slow towards busy-busy, we can all do with a reminder of why. Why the slower way is a good idea, not just because it’s nice but how it benefits our creative work too. How working slower can actually be more efficient in the long run.

This blog post is that reminder, for both of us.

Getting to work when you’re prone to get stuck pondering

Getting to work when you’re prone to get stuck pondering

If you make a rough generalization, you can divide people into two camps. You have those who are prone to say hang on, let’s think this through, and those who get’s impatient with the first camp and goes ahead anyway.

Let’s call them ponderers and explorers. You can find them divided up into different roles everywhere. The architects and the builders. The plotters and pantsers. The ones who like strategy games and the ones who like adventure games.

But we can’t always divide up in camps. When doing creative work on your own, you need to be able to wear both hats. And most likely, there’s one mode you’re more comfortable with.

Me, I’m a ponderer.

Why the end of a project is so hard and what to do about it

Why the end of a project is so hard and what to do about it

I’m nearing the end of the third draft of my novel. It’s been big work, practically rewriting the whole thing, and I’ve been at it for over a year.

When I passed the mid point, I assumed the end would be like riding your bike downhill. Fast, thrilling and easy.

Little did I know it’d actually be quite the opposite - like the tiring and hard experience of riding your bike up a very long hill.

Treating lack of time, overwhelm and stress in your creative work by choosing less

Treating lack of time, overwhelm and stress in your creative work by choosing less

We all seem to want more time.

Time to create, to pursue dreams, to build our ideas.
To live, to breathe and to slow down.

We fantasize about the things we’d be able to do and create if only we had another day in the week.

We try to squeeze in more activities than our lives can hold, trying to make it work and often ending up sacrificing those precious slow moments.

What not to do when writing your first novel

What not to do when writing your first novel

When I set out to write the first draft of my first novel, I did almost everything wrong. I set the demands on myself sky high while not believing in my abilities as a writer for a second, constantly throwing myself into writing blocks. 

I didn't develop my characters or my plot enough. I tried to wing it, ending up with a first draft that had to be completely rewritten.

The good things is, I've learned so much from my mistakes, and now I can share those lessons with you, so you might get a better start in your journey as a writer.

What the first two drafts of my novel taught me about writing

What the first two drafts of my novel taught me about writing

When I started writing the first draft of my novel way too many years ago, I was writing a very different story. At its core it's the same, or at least similar, but almost everything else has changed in some way. 

This is the first book I attempt to write. I could have been frustrated by the amount of work it has taken me to get to where I am today, writing draft three, but I've learned so much from all those mistakes I've made.

This novel has been a ruthless but fantastic writing teacher. Today, I'd like to share some of what those first and second drafts taught me.

Braving the next step of your creative journey

Braving the next step of your creative journey

At its worst, January is a month that starts out with the panicky feeling that another year has passed and your creative dreams are still just that, dreams. It then continues on with too steep goals and a furious mantra of hustle. And then the months ends in burnout and a sense of hopelessness.

But at its best, January is simply a time for introspection and realigning your daily life with your long term goals. 

When we do it right, the start of a new year can allow us to see the next step in our creative journey, and to actually take it.

Does your priorities match your dreams?

Does your priorities match your dreams?

Our creative dreams are often deeply important to us, creative longings of the heart that just won't leave us alone. They are the things formed out of love for a craft and from who we want to be and what life we want to live.

And yet, dreams can be hard to work on. Hard to prioritize in a life filled with other things you want and must do, things with a shorter time frame and a closer connection to your everyday life. 

Dreams can go unrealized because they are so big and your weeks only have so many hours. So how do we do it? How do we match the priorities of our day to day life with our big and scary dreams?

Why writing less may make you a more productive writer

Why writing less may make you a more productive writer

Since I started writing my novel a couple of years ago, I've written in many different ways.

I've attended NaNoWriMo and written 50 000 words in a month. 
I've written during my commute, with my laptop on my lap.
I've written in the early mornings before work. 
I've written in the dead of night.

Most of all though, I've written on weekends. During the day, when I'm rested and focused. That's when I can usually write pretty well.

Five questions to ask yourself when you're feeling scattered and overwhelmed

Five questions to ask yourself when you're feeling scattered and overwhelmed

The creative life can be overwhelming. Being driven by inspiration, creativity and dreams, it's easy to want to do everything. We run hither and dither, creating all over the place. There are multiple projects, developing your craft, social media and all the things to figure out.

We end up feeling scattered, not sure how to choose between our inspiring ideas. Time is constantly running out but little gets finished.