Take a Chill Pill

A lot of creative people I know could stand to take a chill pill. Myself included. When I was about a year out of college, I whined, bitched and moaned about not having finished any writing. I felt like I was failing at life by not having done anything creative since graduation and I would say things to myself like "you're wasting your talent, what are you doing to yourself?" It's almost as if we think I thought I could myself into becoming the next William Shakespeare.

Like white after Labor Day, guilt doesn't look good on you. It doesn't look good on anybody. Fighting with yourself and getting internally angry is probably not likely to force you to create something amazing within your lifetime. It's more likely to make you feel discouraged and depressed (which is what happened with me). If this is the kind of life you've been leading, it's time for you to take a chill pill.

Many famous creative folk, including the prolific Leonardo Da Vinci, advocated relaxation and strategic napping for getting more work accomplished. What if you took the time that you usually spend beating your breast and gnashing your teeth and replaced it with a calm hour of book reading or an afternoon siesta? Sure, you can't relax all of the time, but most amazing ideas tend to hit people in the shower or just before they go to sleep for a reason. It's when they are most relaxed and all the other crap in their head can't get in the way.

It took me four or five years after college to write something that people would actually pay to read. I wanted to create such a work right out of the gate but it wasn't in the cards. Now, over six years after having graduated college, I'm working on a book that I'm so proud and confident of, that I'm almost certain it will be successful. If it wasn't for the many chill pills I've taken since graduation in the form of quiet moments alone, listening to audio books while taking a stroll or windy jogs down Chicago's lakefront, I might have never gotten to this point.

It can really suck when you feel like you've got a song (literal or figurative) inside of you just waiting to get out and you're having difficulty getting it out of your brain and into reality. The best advice I can give you is to take a chill pill, don't despair and sooner or later you'll make your mark on this world. 

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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