Making time for art...yes, that old conundrum! I started to devise the Wild Creativity tools partly because I struggled with creative blocks, mainly because I could never find the time for my art. Like many of you, I was working a "real" job, had two children to look after, was volunteering at both my son's school and a local arts group, while also attempting to stay fit and have some kind of social life. Oh, and my husband was frequently away on business for weeks so I felt like I was managing the household on my own - how could I possibly fit in my beloved artwork?! Sound familiar?
My Secret to Making Time for Art
There is no "making" of time, of course. Time is the one thing that nobody else can give you. I can teach you systems, give you tools, keep you accountable - but I cannot give you time. Sorry, I am not a Time Lord and as far as I know, we haven't figured out time travel yet! So what are we to do?
Well, the first thing I did was to reach out for the myriad of self-help books that are out there - you know the ones - the ones that advocate building daily habits, getting up at 5am in the morning and forcing ourselves to create regardless of what's going on in our everyday lives. Now, I absolutely value these type of tools at certain times - especially when I'm up against a deadline - but for me they simply do not work consistently. They assume that my energy levels are exactly the same every day - they are not! They assume that my creative spirit is always with me - and it's not, believe me. So when I tried to adopt all the standard artists' self-help advice, it didn't work for me and I just wound up more frustrated and feeling more of a failure. Other people managed to find the time in their busy lives to create great art, why couldn't I?
Eventually I found a different way, a way that's much more gentle on ourselves and takes into account that every single one of us is different.
So what's my secret to making time for art? It's not what you think!
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION NOT TO CREATE
Yup, you read right! Give yourself permission NOT to create. Stop beating yourself up because you don't produce a Van Gogh standard artwork every day. Stop comparing yourself to your friend who writes 10 pages of her memoir every morning. Stop forcing yourself to create when really you want to be out walking in the sunshine. Stop feeling guilty!
Instead, just listen. Listen to your intuitive, Wild Creativity. Tune into her. Start to notice when she shows up for you. When exactly are you driven to create? Early morning, middle of the night, Full Moon, Winter? When does that creative fire rage? Make the most of that energy and create in those times.
Notice when your creative Goddess leaves you, and be comfortable with that. Don't try and force her to show up - she won't, or she'll show up disgruntled (which is worse than not being there at all!). Instead, do something else that supports your creative practice - visit a museum, research your niche, work on your business. Trust that your creative spirit will return - and rest assured that it will - in the same way as spring arrives every year.
Just like the moon, our creative energies wax and wane. Just like the seasons, our creativity flows from a time of abundance to a time of scarcity. Work WITH this natural harmony and your practice will flow just as beautifully as the seasons. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to create every day, every week or even every month - find your own pattern that is driven by your own creative energies and step into your own, unique work flow.
Work WITH your Wild Creativity and you'll find that the space opens up in your life for your making to step in - it's what nature designed you to do. You are part of Mother Earth, choose to listen to her.
If this sounds like something you would like to explore further, then sign up for my Creative Circle - this month I'm giving more tips on how to find the time you need to build a strong, vibrant WILD CREATIVE practice. I would love for you to be part of that conversation.
Work WITH your Wild Creativity and you'll find that the space opens up in your life for your making to step in. @jkcalladine