Making Time for Being Creative

I wrote earlier about how I already felt behind in 2016. (Read that post here in case you missed it.) It’s a problem I often hear creative people complain about, missing our self-designed deadlines. But what can we do about it?

Many of us have a long list of absolutes when it comes to our creative process. Here are a few I’ve heard from writers:

  • I must work in total silence – or with music, conversation or something else in the background.
  • I must be sitting in my office, or a coffee shop, or my garden, or my easy chair…
  • I must use a legal pad, the kind with a tab at the top and pages that rip off, and a fine tipped pen with a gel grip – or my typewriter, desktop computer, laptop or tablet.
  • I am only creative during certain hours of the day – early in the morning or late at night, or in the afternoon, or when my tummy is full.
  • I can only write when I’m calm – or upset, angry, giddily happy…

You catch my drift, right? We place limitations on ourselves based on our experiences of how things have worked in the past.

What happens when you hit that terrible creative block, where your ideas and inspiration seem as dried up as needles falling off last year’s Christmas tree? What has always worked no longer seems to work. Our creative train has not only fallen off its track, it’s slid down a deep canyon’s walls and plunged into a sluggish river of muddy regrets.

It’s time to shake up the muse and try something different. I recommend taking one thing you “always” do (or do not do) and change it.

I feel blessed in that I don’t have many absolutes. I’ve been known to write in planes, trains and automobiles. I write on a laptop or tablet for the most part, but always keep a notebook with me for those times when inspiration strikes (along with time) and technology is inconvenient. (I will ‘fess up to atrocious handwriting, so I tend to limit writing longhand because I can’t then read it later!)

But one limit I had set was no writing in the evening. I’m not at my sharpest after a long day, I’ve told myself, and if I’m in a fog, what good would come of word count then?

Taking my own advice, this is the thing I am changing. There never seem to be enough hours in the regular workday, so I’m expanding my creative time into the post-sunset fog. It might be new word count. I may be creating advertising or editing and posting a blog. I will, though, be doing something!

What one absolute can you change in 2016? Please share it here as I’ve posted mine – and I’ll let you know how I do as the months progress!


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