The talented Sean Hayden (who has a really nifty blog) is working on a personal short film project and he touches upon a problem I can really relate to.
It seems that he, like many creative types, has a kind of weariness for the actual implementation of the cool ideas he cooks up. In his latest post he shares how he keeps that spark alive while not de-railing the current project– Make something new! Just don’t do anything with it for now.
It’s a great way to keep yourself fresh. Creation and development of a thing is certainly more adrenaline & excitement laden than the drudgery of actually making it. And don’t be fooled- drudgery there is in the making and no shortage of it. Anyone who has made a short film or any artistic project that spans months or years knows what I’m talking about. You cannot avoid those grey days when the ideas are lame, the dialog is stupid, the jokes aren’t funny and the art is hackneyed and second rate. It usually takes stepping away and re-engaging your creative side to get back on track.
When I was younger I was a tad bit more militant about the doing of something. Success required focus, effort, discipline, etc. So I used to not allow myself to even start a new idea until I finished the old one first. After some time I realized that I was losing good ideas and hurting my execution of the current one. So if I had a new idea I allowed myself a short two or three day stint to get the initial thing down and store it away for later keeping. The flurry of thought and energy that came out in that brief hiatus was a great tonic for the production blues. It really seemed to scratch that itch and I was able to come back to my old project with my brain de-funked enough to see the old things more clearly and with fresh eyes.
There is another benefit to this “take a break and make something new” approach- perspective. Every idea seems cool and fantastic when you first think it up, but with the benefit of distance and time you get to see how it might not have been the coolest thing that you thought it was. This way if the idea was only a passing phase (like a bout of creative gas after a bean burrito) you only lost a few days on it- and hopefully still had fun with the idea even though nothing more will come of it. And for those ideas that are still fresh, exciting and funny a full 6 or 10 months after you initially recorded them, well those become your next project. Hopefully.
Anyhow, for some nifty stuff check out Mr. Hayden’s blog. His has like real art and stuff on it. Unlike this one. (to my great shame).