Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Time For Creativity

I am the last person who is going to tell you it is easy to find time to be creative.  In fact, I don't think we find time.  I think we make time by making intentional decisions about what to include in our lives.  It is not easy, but it is worth it--well worth it!  Here is my experience and my tips that grew out of it:

Waterscape watercolor created this weekend.

Close up flower corner of painting

Close up of beach grass

For most of my adult life I had lots of after work time when I could create.  I had few responsibilities or time commitments outside of work.  Somehow I was always busy--sometimes the busy-ness was productive and constructive, but sometimes I was busy watching TV or eating ice cream.

I am now the bread-winner in my house, and I live with an active 3 year old (I know that's redundant!)  I am busy and tired.  I have every reason to never take a photo or make a painting or blog or create products or events for Brave Teachers.

Here is what I know:

  • I can create in very small snippets of time.  The painting above was created in many little 2 - 5 minute segments around spending time with my family.  Sometimes I'm tempted to think I need to go into seclusion for a week or at least a weekend.  That might be nice, but it's not necessary.
  • I do not need a large space of lots of materials to create.  Most people would laugh at the cheap watercolors I use, and my camera is just a little Cannon Powershot.  I usually paint in a space off our kitchen that is 4 x 7.  It's enough.
  • I can include my family in many parts of creating.  We love to walk in the woods or hike the Towpath.  I usually have my little camera with me.  The bonus is that I get many fun photos of my family that I wouldn't otherwise get.  My son LOVES to watercolor with me, and sometimes I just set aside my project to have fun with him.
  • I can schedule times for creativity.  I have a couple BIG projects that I'm going to unveil for summer.  This is the 2 week window in which I am just creating--this stuff will evolve into posters and calendars, but for now I'm just creating.  {It's VERY fun and freeing!}  By making a schedule and a timeline I am able to feel really good about creating now, and not worry about what is not getting done.
  • I can ask for help and time.  I am just learning how to do this, and it's hard!  My husband spends the day with our son, and then he has other plans several nights a week.  I told him that I needed one evening a week to plan, recharge, and be.  I go from school to yoga and then to creative time on Wednesdays.  I have a favorite coffee shop, and I plan blogs, plan in notebooks, and sometimes create there.  It's amazing to me what comes to me in that 1 - 2 1/2 hour block each week.  It's a start!
  • It has to be fun.  If I'm not excited about it, everything else will suck me in.  {I know it's time to revaluate when I am mopping the kitchen floor rather than create!}

If you're looking for more on this topic the most powerful voice in my life on this topic is Melody Ross over at Brave Girls Club.  She is so inspiring because she really walks the walk.  I highly recommend the online classes as a  reason to be creative and figure out priorities for yourself and live the life that was meant for you.

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