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In the pause: The difficult and uncertain trade-offs of creative work

“It’s a real book!”

That’s what my friend, Alex, said to me when she saw the layout proof of the first page of my novel. She’s right; everyday Emerson becomes more real. For many years, her spirit lived in my mind. I had to introduce her to the world. So I started to write down her story. There were nights I didn’t go out. Places I didn’t go, things I didn’t do, people I didn’t see because I chose to stay home and write. I could have poured that time and effort into many other things. Some people thought I should (and told me so); they thought writing the book was a waste of time. All creative work looks like a waste of time until it’s done.

Now that the book will be published on November 1st, it’s easy to say and see that I wasn’t wasting my time, that it was worth the effort. But that’s not always the case. I toiled for years with no outward progress on it. Many times creative projects are like that—slow, uncertain, and frustrating. The thing is that I couldn’t stop writing the story. It would have haunted me. Emerson’s voice would have gotten louder and louder and louder until I had to sit down and write it. Creators have to create as much as they need to breathe, eat, and sleep. It’s a vital process.

So if you’re in the midst of a creative project, one that’s taking longer than you’d like, one that other people don’t understand, it’s okay. Every person who’s ever created anything has felt exactly what you’re feeling at some point in their own process. That’s part of the journey. Do the work you know you need to do, and tune out the noise. When it’s done, and I promise you that you can finish it!, the amount of pride and gratitude will be overwhelming in the best possible way.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


2 thoughts on “In the pause: The difficult and uncertain trade-offs of creative work

  1. I love every sentence of this post.


    Posted by Michael | June 15, 2017, 4:24 am

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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