You are just too busy to be creative. You have the best of intentions but other stuff and other people just keep getting in the way. You would love to be creative but you never seem to find the time.
You’ve heard that some people get up early and do their art before the rest of their day starts. You’d love to do that but you keep hitting your snooze button and you don’t really get to bed early enough to get up at 5am.
There are just too many people with too many demands on your time. You don’t know how you will ever build a consistent creative routine.
Value your creativity
If you don’t value your creativity then your time will slip away in all kinds of ways and you will justify these other tasks as being important.
I’m not telling you that going to work and earning money to pay your bills isn’t important. Of course it is. Unless you win the lottery or marry someone rich you are going to have to keep doing that.
However, have a look at where your time goes outside of work. Do you have to socialise three nights a week? Does your house have to be an immaculate palace? Do you have to iron your underwear as well as your work shirts?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it is down to us on how we decide to use it.
If you value your creative time, others will too
The amazing thing about you valuing your creative time is that other people will then start to respect it too. When I first changed from full time work to working three days a week it was fun to have time and space in the day time when I would have normally have been at work. Friends would say something like, “Oh, you’re not working on Tuesday Cali, would you like to meet up for lunch?”
I would merrily skip along, spending time going in and out of town as well as having a leisurely lunch. Because I was no longer ‘working’ that day I had got up later than usual too, so now there wasn’t a busting load of time to get on with my writing.
Initially I was frustrated about this and how easy it was for my precious two days a week to be frittered away. Somewhere along the line the penny dropped and I started to value my writing as something that I really wanted to do. I noticed that as I made this decision the lunch invitations stopped. As I showed the universe I was serious about my writing, the universe must have sent a memo to everyone else too!
To say yes to creativity you will need to say No to something else
Saying yes to creativity might cause you to make some tough decisions. If, like me, you are one of life’s do-ers then a lot of your time can be taken up being involved with your faith group or the committee for your sports club or helping out in the community.
These are all very noble acts but to make creative stuff happen for yourself you are going to have to scale down some of these activities.
Sometimes our busyness is a symptom of our fear
Sometimes your busyness is a manifestation of your fear. If you keep running and doing worthy things then you won’t have to face the scary prospect of putting our soul in charge of your life. Deciding to explore your creative well introduces uncertainty and exposure to the world and your inner fear gremlin doesn’t like this.
Saying no to serving on this year’s town anniversary committee because you want to write a book is daunting. You are making your inner most desires public and putting yourself in a position where you have to do it.
Fear will always be there no matter where you are in your creative journey. It can only be defeated by taking action. The best way to do this is little and often. You need to fly under the radar. Do small daily activities towards your creative project before fear catches on and puts out the stop sign.
For example, putting on a solo exhibition of your work is scary. Your head can think of a thousand reasons why this is a terrible idea despite the fact that your heart wants to do it. You’ll easily be able to justify any other pursuit that prevents you from doing this. But if you break it down to twenty minutes of sketching in the morning or half hour at the canvas when you get home from work, this is less daunting. Bit by bit you will be creating work that you might then want to put into an exhibition. Even though you might still be scared at the prospect of showing your work, by this stage it is a smaller jump and you have already produced some art.
The life of an artist is one of plodding gently forward. You will never have the time that you would love to devote to your art and you will always have periods when you need to contend with fear. If you can build a routine of little and often, and enjoy this step by step journey, then you can fit your creative pursuits around all the other things which life throws at you.
Over to you
Please share in the comments. Are you too busy to create? How have you pared down your life so that you have more creative time? What are your biggest challenges in clearing time for your creativity?
Please share your thoughts. Your comment might be the exact right thing that someone else needs to read.
If you found this post useful then please use the buttons below to share it.
If you are new to The Gentle Creative and you like what you see then subscribe in the box below so that you’re the first to hear when the next blog is published. You’ll get a free copy of The Gentle Creative Manifesto.
Every month I also share the ups and downs of my own creative journey – but only email subscribers get that insider view. Sign up now.