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David Andrew Wiebe, March 2021It’s important to realize that, at some point, the life of the creative becomes an endurance race.

Wake at the same hour every day, tackle your top three priorities, answer a few emails, go to bed, rinse, repeat. Personal recreation becomes a luxury.

How much of that can you handle before it breaks your creative spirit? How much can you endure before you collapse onto the couch and cry “uncle?”

It may seem bleak, but this is what it looks like to make a living from your passion. You shift from someone who creates as the spirit moves, to someone who creates on demand, lest you miss a deadline, disappoint a client, or drop the ball on a big contract.

I admit, no part of this is inspiring. But I bring it up for a reason.

Firstly, we need to have filters in place for the opportunities that come our way. The vultures will come out of the woodwork the very moment you’re starting to find your daily stride, and “a few quick emails” can easily balloon into an unsustainable workload if you say “yes” one too many times.

You don’t need a complex system to filter opportunities. What you need is a raw, instinctual gut response. Because opportunities will seem endless, and frankly most are not worth your time.

Secondly, we need to listen to our bodies. Yes, we may fancy ourselves superheroes, but everyone has their limit, and anyone who’s gone through burnout is sure to reach that threshold sooner than desired.

You need a break. A getaway. An annual two-week vacation is nice. But it’s probably not going to be enough. You need to look at getting away every three to six months. Maybe it isn’t for two weeks, but as the day-in day-out demands of a creative begin to wear on you, you’ll find it necessary to unplug and allow for recovery.

You can’t let your clients and collaborators ride you like a donkey, because they will keep dangling that carrot in front of you, even as the reality dawns on you that your personal value far exceeds any reward they might offer you. You need to set boundaries in place, put your out of office notice alerts on, and recover away from screens and tech and unending smartphone notifications.

We all grow weary at times, and that’s okay. It’s what it means to be human. Give yourself the gift of disconnecting every now and then.

With that, here’s what I’ve got for you this week:

David Andrew Wiebe

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From: David Andrew Wiebe
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