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When Fun Looks A Lot Like Work


Table Mouse by TET
Lately I've not been able to get a lot done in the way of my own creative projects because many of them require too much time and some kind of lead in to get excited about them. Which I imagine sounds some what peculiar to you and you may be wondering why I can't be excited about my own projects right from the get go?

Most creative projects are about 5% inspiration and 95% work. That 5% is the really fun bit. It's getting the idea. Some of you reading this find the idea stage the hard part. Not me. I get ideas for things even when I'm not trying to come up with ideas. The only trouble I have is knowing which ideas are worth turning into an actual project.

The other 95% is the work to bring an idea to full realization. It doesn't matter what you do, even if you enjoy doing it, some days it just feels like work. More so if what you do for yourself for fun is also what you get paid to do for other people as well. The line becomes blurred and eventually it all feels like work.

Which is why I often need some kind of lead in to get excited about working on my own projects. It's like trying to jump hurdles in your mind until you get to the point where you realize that what you're doing isn't actually work. This is what you've been wanting to do for weeks but haven't had the time for. This work is the 'fun' work even though it looks rather a lot like the 'work' work.

Then you get on a roll with your project. It's challenging. You're working things out. Pieces start coming together and... life happens. A client will contact you and need some work doing, you'll be needed elsewhere by family or that group you volunteer for will need your help. Suddenly the momentum you had on your project is lost again.

The longer it takes to get back to your project the harder it is to find momentum again. Currently I have a lot of projects like that. They've been sitting around waiting for me to get back to them. Some have been sitting around for years.

I'm trying very hard to get back to them and trying to avoid starting anything new. Projects are very easy to start. New projects are always attractive because they haven't hit any hurdles yet that feel like work.

Ultimately I'm probably just making excuses for myself. I should just suck it up and get back to work on any of my projects. Just pick one and see it through as far as I can until the next time life happens.

It's probably the only way to get things done.


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