[IN THE TRENCHES] Death by Creativity

Death from "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" (1991)
You sunk my manuscript!

Are you too creative? Are you constantly thinking of one new project after another in almost any medium, even a few yet to be conceived?

I am. And I think it’s probably going to kill me.

I’ve talked long and often on this subject. The eternal battle between inspiration and time management. Discipline and dreams.

I mean, I can’t stop thinking up new ideas, and not even in some controlled number of mediums. Granted, poetry isn’t really my thing, but I get inspired to seriously consider dabbling in almost everything else.

It’s reached a whole new level over the past few months.

Inspired by a garage bandmate from way back when, I’ve even been thinking about writing and recording songs again. Sure, it’s a fun idea, but it’s also not healthy. There’s already too much to do!

Here’s what’s on my current agenda:

  • Do a pass on a new feature spec with my partner.
  • Draft an artist deal memo for an animated series treatment.
  • Adapt a series pitch doc into a pitch deck. With visuals
  • Adapt a screenplay into a comic miniseries.
  • Write my monthly blog.
  • Write an article for an outside film website.
  • Work my fulltime job.
Death from "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" (1983)
Was it the salmon mousse or the comic proofs?

Right? That’s too much. And that list doesn’t even include hobbies or personal projects. Or sleep.

So, what to do?

Back in the day, a writer friend-of-a-friend talked about how he managed simultaneous assignments (I know, boo hoo, right?).

He said he’d “throw pages at them.” A few for job one, then a few for job two, and on and on and back to the beginning again.

This can work, I guess. But only in the way paying-the minimum-payment-for-your-credit-cards works. It’ll take a million years for you to complete any of those things.

Ideally, you should finish one project entirely before moving onto the next. But who are we kidding? We’re never gonna do that.

So, then, at the very least, you should chunk it. Prioritize the most important projects and at least complete a stage in the process before shifting over to a different piece. Finish an outline, complete a draft, hire an artist. Take them to their next milestone.

At least, that’s what I’m gong to keep telling myself. Maybe one of us will listen.

Send help.

Hand rising from grave
Wait! I have an idea for a poem after all!


Cover of the graphic novel, "Blowback" (2021)

Jim Hereth‘s latest project is his debut action/adventure graphic novel, Blowback, nominated for Best Original Graphic Novel and winner of Fan Favorite Villain at the Ringo Awards. Available now in digital and paperback editions at Amazon.

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