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Make your work into an adventure

It’s easy to forget that creative work is an adventure in itself. If you’re stuck or jaded, here’s how to remember

By Sheryl GarrattPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash

Lost that sparkle?

There is a point, in every book or major writing project I’ve ever worked on, when it feels like a slog. When I wake up with a dread of facing the page again, writing about the same thing, tussling with the same seemingly intractable problems.

If you feel this way too, check you’re building enough recovery time into your day. Take more breaks. Move more, too. A brisk 15-minute walk outside can often bring your energy levels back up and give you more clarity and perspective than you’d get by grimly pushing on through.

Take an afternoon off.

Maybe even a day or two, if you can. Go on some play dates. But if that’s not possible, try making your work into an adventure. Or more accurately, remind yourself that creative work is already an adventure.

It’s easy to lose sight of how lucky we are, when we’re thrashing through the dark weeds of a difficult project, unable to see the way forward.

Lots of people long to be more creative, but lack the courage, the resources, the training, the vision to start. We’re the lucky ones. We get to do this. And even when we have deadlines looming, we still have more control of our time than many people.

So find ways to make it fun.

Reclaim that sense of adventure and exploration. Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I try a change of scenery. I’ll go to a favourite coffee shop to work, to a pub or a bar. I’ll hop on the train to another town along my stretch of the Kent coast and explore a little, until I find a new place — a library, a museum, a cafe, a cinema foyer — to write for a while.

Or I’ll take the train to London and work in the British Library, in the members’ room of Tate Modern with its sweeping view of the Thames, or some other setting that feels exciting or inspiring.

This might feel an indulgent use of time and money.

But the travelling time is rarely wasted. I’ll read, listen to music or podcasts on the train, look out the window and daydream or perhaps even get my laptop out and write. Perhaps I’ll also see an inspiring exhibition while I’m in the city, or meet up with a friend before going home.

But I’ll also make sure I get some solid hours of writing in. There’s something about buying the train ticket, committing the time, and of course writing in public places that makes me less likely to procrastinate, and avoid doing the work I need to do.

Writers are lucky.

Most of us can work pretty much anywhere. But if your creative work isn’t something you can carry about easily, find other ways of making it an adventure.

Change your environment, if you can. If you usually work in silence, play music loudly in your studio. Or vice versa. Invite a friend to work alongside you for a day or two. Change your hours, your route to and from your workspace.

Do something different.

Go in an hour or two later than usual, and allow yourself a mini-expedition to see something interesting, or to sit somewhere and journal about your blocks, your dreams, your next moves.

Allow a longer lunch break, and take yourself on a date to a cafe or restaurant you’ve never tried before. Have a rummage round some vintage/charity shops or go look at fabrics, art supplies, or flick through the racks in a record store.

Shake things up, just because it might be fun.

It’s easy to forget the freedom we have, as creators. And once you get the creative juices flowing again, you might surprise yourself, with the brilliant things you make.

Which, of course, is the biggest adventure of all.

Sheryl Garratt is a writer, and a coach helping creative professionals of all kinds get the success they want, making work they truly love. If you’re ready to grow your creative business, I have a FREE 10-day course giving you 10 steps to success — with less stress. Sign up for it here.


About the Creator

Sheryl Garratt

Sheryl Garratt is a former editor of The Face and Observer magazines, and has written professionally for more than 30 years. She is also a coach working with creatives of all kinds. Find her at

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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    Sheryl GarrattWritten by Sheryl Garratt

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