Why We Start New Projects We Don’t Have Time For

We are not super humans (though sometimes, on a good writing day, we feel like we are).

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I remember the night it happened. It was last March. I came home from my nine-to-five job, the kind of job where your work does not follow you home (those do exist!), and decided I wanted to rebrand my entire blog.

I knew I would be starting graduate school in a matter of weeks. I knew it was a spontaneous decision and that I should wait, but couldn’t. In my mind, it was now or never. I was averaging about one view per day on the site, so I started redesigning without prepping new posts first. It was a bit reckless and probably not a very smart move in the short-term. But over a year and almost 200 followers later, I think it’s safe to say it was worth it.

Time was limited. I couldn’t even start posting regularly because of work and school. But it was something I really felt I wanted, maybe even needed to do. I spent a few days creating Novelty Revisions out of what I had put together the past six years on the blog it would take the place of, and I haven’t looked back since. Literally and figuratively.

There are days it still stresses me out. I have been posting daily for almost a year, and that is not an easy thing to do. But I do it. Despite time constraints and obstacles, I make it happen, because I want to. Because it makes me happy. Because I feel like I owe it to my audience.

This was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that an idea for a project immediately morphed into the real thing. When I have an idea for something new, in many cases, I do not like to wait. Things like novels I can let sit (i have one in mind for November, and have for weeks now). But I can’t do it with everything. Sometimes that leads me down dangerous roads of procrastinating on things that are more important than my side projects. But I dedicate time to them because I want to. Because my creativity cannot go unused. It is the way I am wired.

Why do we do this to ourselves? It is my belief that our creative energy must not be wasted. Sometimes that might mean we jump on a new project, use up that energy and let the project rest. We might pick it up again soon after and we might not. The things we really want to pursue, the projects we are fully dedicated to, we are able to put in more time and effort while using less creative energy. Because when we are in our element, when we are doing what we really want to do, it does not feel like work. There is less pressure.

If we really want to do it, we will always find a way. Perhaps in the short term, things like losing sleep and not leaving the house aren’t the best choices. But we are not super humans (though sometimes, on a good writing day, we feel like we are). Some things have to give. Eventually, we see that it was all worth it. All that time spent creating was actually the best decision we could have made.

I am at the point in my life when I know pretty well the things I want to create and the things I do not. I know the kinds of projects that take more creative energy and the kinds that expend less. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a paying job that lets me live off of getting to create what I want to create. But isn’t that how we all feel?

I suppose, in that case, I have arrived. I am that person, officially. The one with the trains of thought non-creatives have a hard time following. The one who lights up during job interviews when I talk about things that interest me, and goes a little too far, and never hears back from hiring managers, The one who really doesn’t fit in, unless I’m doing something that lets me use my unique way of looking at the world for a true purpose, instead of just doing it for myself and no one else.

I’m sort of having a quarter life crisis here, but if nothing else, my words will get me through it. Somehow. They always do. And if you’re in the same boat, keep hanging in there. You are not a lost cause. You’re just lost. You haven’t found your destination yet. But you will. As long as you keep moving forward, and never stop creating, no matter what it takes.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

2 thoughts on “Why We Start New Projects We Don’t Have Time For

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