When you are developing your own work remember that you are the boss. You are in charge of making sure that 1) you get down to work and 2) you take an appropriate amount of breaks. These two points are equally important in managing your time. If you take too many breaks you disrupt the flow of production and you risk having little to no material to work with. If you work too much for too long you can drain your inspiration and burnout your work inertia.
How do you know when to take a break? Read this short Tumblr post I found that sums up the importance and provides a gauge on taking breaks. Personally I set a timer for myself and designate a certain amount of composition or sketch work for that time period. At the end of the period I write notes for continuation if I need it and take a break to stretch, walk around, look at work by others – to step away from what I was doing to refresh. Reground. You are the vessel these wonderful projects are coming from and though the crew sails the ship what is a crew without their vessel?
Never forget the reasons you like doing the things you favor. People will often embark on the journey towards doing the things they like and somewhere along the journey they forget the original reason they pursued it. Their momentum dies down and the heart and soul of their efforts whoosh out of them. When I got a chance to work with and teach kids my favorite part about teaching was their willingness to learn and their laughter. I love their laughter and their honest outlook on life – their curiosity and natural exploration of the world – you know, the things a lot of systems drill out of us as we age.
Figure out the reasons you love what you do or are on the path you are on. Write them down. Keep them present in your mind. If by chance you are doing something you do not like, I only ask that you try to do the things you like doing as much as the ones you do not. Someone else you know on a similar path cannot do it? Someone farther along in a career than you did not make time for it? Someone with more money than you sold out to bring in the coins? So what? That’s not you. Those are not your limitations.
While this applies across a broad spectrum of talents, occupations, and hobbies, I want to take a moment to accent this message in the words of a wonderful writer.
“We will need writers who can remember freedom…Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not quite the same thing as responsible publishing or book authorship…yet I see sales departments given control over editorial…I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant and tell us what to write…We live in capitalism. It’s power seems inescapable – so did the divine right of kings.”
One of the key pieces of advice I can give you about being a creator is to enjoy the process.