If you answered yes, you are not alone. This occurrence happens to many folks, especially visual artists. Because the unattended mind is a source of imagination, it is inevitable.
As with many things in life, there is a balance point where differing interests meet and good results follow. For instance, while all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, all play and no work makes Jack a poor boy. Somewhere in the middle is the balance that produces the best outcome in most situations.
I think the right mix of productivity and creativity is at the heart of most art business success. Ignore one at the peril of the other. Examine the business lives of most top selling artists and you will find this balanced dynamic in play.
Recently, my sister inspired me with the announcement she has a new mentor and is involved in a social networking community of musical artists, aka “Tribe”, who also work with the mentor. They work on supporting each other’s career aspirations. I am so happy for her to have found herself in a nurturing environment.
In sharing her experiences with me, she gave me a link to a blog post from TheImagist.com. It is titled, Thomas Keller On Why Passion Shouldn’t Drive You. I encourage you to read the short essay, for those in a hurry, here is Keller’s (He is a culinary expert.) premise:
It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook. If it’s only about passion, sometimes you’ll be good and sometimes you won’t. You’ve got to come in every day with a strong desire. With passion, if you see the first asparagus of the springtime and you become passionate about it, so much the better, but three weeks later, when you’ve seen that asparagus every day now, passions have subsided. What’s going to make you treat the asparagus the same? It’s the desire.
I think bright shiny objects with their allure can engender passion, but rarely are they the trigger for desire. If passion is creativity, then desire is ambition. When ambition and passion exist in abundance then productivity and success ensue.
Creativity often requires taking the road less traveled. Productivity is learning to stay focused even as you enjoy bright shiny objects when you encounter them. The key is to not let their lure pull you off the road less traveled.
Learn to be honest with yourself. Take stock of whether your career has the right mix of creativity and productivity. If you have a deficiency in either, stop what you are doing and work on getting your balance back. You will be glad you did.