Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em: The Beauty of Side Projects

I have been in the midst of editing. Editing my work, articles for TUBE., and projects for friends and family. There’s a certain rigid mindset necessary for that kind of work. You have to be able to cut and comment with enough certainty to convince the other person (or yourself) that you are right, that your advice is worth taking. This can be exhausting, especially if you don’t allow yourself to exercise your creative side like I had been. Not to say that editing isn’t creative, but it lacks that spontaneous burst of energy and life that pure creation has.

This is where the beauty of side projects and unnecessary projects comes in. They’re just that, unnecessary. They are no-strings love affairs you can drop the moment the frenzied passion leaves you cold, only to be picked up when you feel the warmth of ideas twitching in your fingers. For me this manifested in a couple hours of manic creation, leaving me a yet-unfinished art piece and paint smeared halfway up my wrists.

Unfinished Diptych by Katta Hules.
Unfinished Diptych by Katta Hules.

Elizabeth Gilbert compares having a creative mind to owning a hyperactive border collie in her article ‘Fear is Boring, and Other Tips For Living A Creative Life.‘ “You have to give it something to do or it will find something to do, and you will not like the thing it finds to do.” I have found this to be true, especially lately as I am waiting for my beta readers to finish tearing open the plot holes in my novel. There’s a definite anxiety to knowing someone is probably (hopefully) reading my book today, and I have no idea what they’re thinking.

To combat this further, I took Visual Verse‘s challenge again this month and came up with a little piece called ‘She.‘ The challenge is one image, one hour, 50-500 words, any style or genre. It’s a great free-writing prompt. I’ve also started the preliminaries on the sequel to my novel. I may never finish the art piece I created in my manic moment and ‘She’ may never see the light of day past Visual Verse’s anthology, but it doesn’t matter because they were magnificent releases with lovely memories and have cleared the way for long term, more important love affairs.

This month’s Visual Verse prompt

So don’t be afraid to start something just because it doesn’t seem like long-term material, you never know where a great side project might take you. Have a fun side project story? Share it in the comments. I’d love to hear it!


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