Work and Rest

I know I don’t speak too much as myself here, but as the name of this space is Random Short Stuff, I would say there’s a first time for everything and that anything goes.

Today, I’d like to talk about two things I’ve been feeling for the past week. The first is a feeling I describe as the creative rush. It’s that surge of energy that flows through you when you’re working on a project, and the continuous shots of giddiness that hit you while you watch the pieces you envisioned long ago finally taking physical shape. The latter fuels the former, and the next thing you know, the sun has set and the moon is high in the sky. Then you realize you’ve spent an entire day on your project, and moreover, that you’re looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow.

This rush hit me while working on a project last week, which I cite as the chief reason why I didn’t update the blog with anything short or random. One day, I worked on that project every minute when I wasn’t eating or sleeping, to the point where I went straight back to work for about an hour in between the shower and going to bed. My hands definitely felt the strain, but in my mind, I thought, “What if I add a small bit here? Oh, I can probably code a bit more there. I can fix this little thing right now; no biggie.” Only after I went to my room and began stretching my arms and hands, and rubbing my tired eyes, did my brain remember that a lot of little things add up after a while. And yet even then, I wanted to keep working.

Therein lies the second feeling: the desire to work conflicting with the nagging need to rest. As much as I wanted to work, I also recognized that pushing myself to that extent again could very well put me in a spot where I wouldn’t be able to do anything I liked—writing, drawing, playing music… or finishing the aforementioned project (for anyone wondering, it’s a game I’m putting together). I have kept working, as I said, but I’ve been more mindful of taking breaks. It’s not like the rush is going to disappear all of a sudden just because I’m resting for a half an hour instead of fifteen minutes, or even if I rest for a whole day. It’s a gradual decline, especially for something I love, and I can stave it off if I’m consistent about when I work on it.

The project will get done as long as I keep at it; I just have to make sure I’m in good enough shape to actually do that. This goes for any major project, really, be it writing a short story or novel, drawing and coloring pictures, composing music, programming a game, or what have you. The rush is a lovely feeling, but rest is important, too. Balance when you work with the rush and when you take a break, and not only will you finish your current project, but you can engage in any number of new ones in the future.

‘Til next time

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