I can’t focus on just one creative project at a time

Polyamorous Creation

POLYAMOROUS CREATION@2x

The Context

Prolific creators know resistance will eventually rear its ugly head, and so they always have something waiting in the wings, ready to be worked on. By differentiating and diversifying between a number of main lines of activity, when one enterprise grinds to a halt, productive work does not cease because there is enough momentum to keep the story moving forward. With only one iron in the fire, you wouldn’t have the freedom to do that. Ultimately, polyamorous creation, the practice of pursuing relationships with multiple creative projects, is a proven strategy that allows you to be both prolific with, and protective of, your artistic work. Don’t be afraid to get some shit on your shoes. And keep in mind, just because you’re working on multiple projects, doesn’t mean you’re not focused. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You’re more focused than ever. Focus, isn’t about activity, it’s about identity. Keeping all your passions in play, while still staying true you dominant reality. Not hammering one nail all your life, but hammering lots of nails, one way, all your life. And believing that doesn’t matter how many different things you do, it matters that you’re the same person when you do them.

The Tool

two color

Polyamorous Creation

POLYAMOROUS CREATION -- Pursuing relationships with multiple creative projects, with a full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.

Polyamorous creation, then, is not about spreading yourself too thin. It’s not about procrastination. It’s not about chasing too many rabbits. It’s not about becoming a jack of all trades. It’s not about accumulating a bunch of unfinished projects. And it’s not about placing too many cumbersome demands on yourself. It’s about hedging your creative bets. It’s about insuring yourself against the daily discouragements, delays, distractions, depressions, derailments and disappointments of the creative process. And in many cases, that means giving yourself permission to go work on something else. New project receive an unflattering review? Go work on something else. Editor move the final deadline back two weeks? Go work on something else. Meaning starting to drain from your current endeavor? Go work on something else. Computer freeze at an inopportune time? Go work on something else. Client go on vacation and forget about your website? Go work on something else. Receive a rejection letter from a publisher? Go work on something else. Stuck on a song lyric that just won’t rhyme? Go work on something else. Spirit won’t move the way you want it to? Go work on something else.

Next, when you practice polyamorous creation, it also produces positive interactions between projects. In my current workload, I’m building a course curriculum, writing a book, producing a documentary and a composing musical album. Initially, each project was mutually exclusive. Unique in its own right. Four different mediums, audiences and messages. But over time, the projects began to bump into each other. And I couldn’t help but notice thought bridges, cross fertilizations, subconscious connections, natural relationships and unexpected integrations between them. As a result, that unconscious integration allowed me to quickly, easily and effectively transition from one project to another on a daily basis. And that contributed to a greater consistency in my body of work and overall artistic vision.

The Rest

Our artistic endeavors, after all, are living, breathing things, with which we have intimate relationships. Ask any artist in the world, and they’ll agree there is a profound connection between the creator and the creation. But as the definition of polyamory suggests, there is a full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. Meaning, the act of dividing your love and attention among several creative works doesn’t automatically lessen it. Just because you’re juggling multiple projects simultaneously, doesn’t mean you love either of them any less because of the existence of the other.

The Benefits

More productively deploy creative efforts
Enable positive interactions btw projects
Improve consistency in body of work
Hedge creative bets and insure yourself against the daily discouragements, delays, distractions, depressions, derailments and disappointments of the creative process

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