I was on my way to a meeting with some friends recently and we were talking about the creative process. To be more precise, we were discussing the aftermath (if you will) that occurs after a creative project is complete. For me, it's usually a short burst of excitement and then either worrying about changes I wish I had time to make or the start of yet another creative endeavor.
Neither of those things are terrible, but I don't think they're ideal. Why? Because I forgot a key ingredient.
My friends helped me to pause long enough to evaluate my project based on my original goals and ultimately, see what I had accomplished. I don't know if its the way that I build my schedule or my fear of becoming prideful about my work but I don't take time to celebrate a completed task or project often enough. And when I do take time, it's often to evaluate and consider what I would've done differently.
So, even when the project isn't perfect or perhaps isn't received in the way I anticipated - I am going to make sure that I never forget this key ingredient. Connecting the finished product to the reasons it was created is a refreshing and renewing thought exercise.
Sure, it could've been better. Yes, I could've done things differently. No, I shouldn't simply rush through things to experience the emotional high of the finish line.
I think, strangely enough, that pride can often stop us from celebrating. It sounds counterintuitive but it's because we keep pushing, moving and creating at a pace that doesn't fully embrace the idea that we've just done something worth pausing.
This experience has implications for myself as an artist but also, for those that I have the privilege to lead. If I don't take time to guide my teams into a time of celebration - everything quickly begins to feel constricted. As if we were in a rat race or even hamsters in a spinning wheel. While it might be true that there isn't a finish line - when we remove the markers from the race, we not only lose our sense of worth but we can lose the will to continue at full speed.
Do you forget to celebrate? How do you build this into your schedule personally or for your team?