Saturday, June 14, 2008

Be a Switcher: Switch Creative Endeavors

Switch creative endeavors? Why? Why, when you work so hard to improve your writing, painting, photography or whatever, would you switch?

For a couple of reasons:

It's a mini-vacation, one that doesn't take you out of creative focus. A break that is refreshing and renewing and still keeps the juice flowing. Creativity is the same, no matter what you're creating.

The major benefit is creativity begets more creativity. Doing something different ramps up what you were doing before. Weird, huh? But think about it. I know that for myself, when I take photographs or make jewelry or write a film script instead of working on my novel, I get tons more inspiration for my w.i.p.! I suspect that working on something else frees up the subconscious to work on the main project.

Have you tried this? Do you have more than one creative passion? If so, what's been your experience?


Swubird said...


I absolutely agree with you on this switch thinking idea. Whenever I get burned out, or reach a dry spot in creativity, I grab a book on a totally different topic than I usually read, and give my mind a mini vacation.

For instance, ninety-nine percent of the books I read are non-fiction. So right now I'm reading Steinbeck and Poe.

Sometimes a short break gives me a jump start - just like a car battery.

Happy trails.

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Swu, I've found the same thing to be true. Read something in a different genre or fiction or non-fiction if you read one most. It's like the brain relaxes but still works away while you read. Good point!

And good authors--I've always adored Cannery Row and Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue started me off reading mysteries.

Kathy McIntosh said...

I can lose myself in arranging flowers or baking bread or pie and find that it does provide a welcome break. Problem comes when the breaks stretch longer than writing time!

Anonymous said...

Conda, it's so funny that you brought this up, because I've been noticing the same thing. Whenever I start writing more, I really get back into photography. And whenever I'm into photography, I begin to write more. The two are totally symbiotic, and I think it's for the reasons you mentioned.

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Kathy, I too sometimes find myself surrounded by baked goods instead of pages. I try to find breaks that are self-limiting...and then again, find myself surrounded by cookies that are not on a computer!

Conda Douglas said...

Thanks Caryn, for your comments and have you tried completely unusual creative forms too? I've found when I try something way out of my comfort zone, drawing for example, it also works.

Swubird said...


I have always been a fan of both Poe and Steinbeck. In fat, today at the bookstore I started re-reading The Grapes of Wrath. At the very beginning of the book, his description of the impending drought is brilliant.

Have a nice day.

Dave King said...

Ah, but it is fraught with dangers: I switched from painting to writing poetry for just such a break, now I find I cannot get back to painting, I am hooked on the poetry. Photography feeds nicely into either, I find. A thought-provoking post.

Cornish Dreamer said...

I completely agree with you about creativity begets more creativity. I switched from writing to photography because I was getting constant writing blocks. Now I'm getting more creative with my photographs, I'm getting back into writing too.

Conda Douglas said...

Good point, Dave, it can be a trap to switch! This is why I have NOT indulged my fascination with crocheting jewelry. I'm afraid I'll be caught crocheting and crocheting and not writing.

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Rebecca! And you have some gorgeous photos on your blog Cornish Dreamer.