The Sketchbook

The Road Not Travelled…Yet

Just when you think you've figured it out...
Just when you think you’ve figured it out…

Some days feel so far from where I meant to be at this time in my life. I dream of creative exploration but spend too much time navigating the ‘real world’. I took a wrong turn somewhere. A Personal GPS would be handy right now.

“Recalculating.”

As a child growing up in a home where mental illness existed I learned early on that anything that took attention from my parent made me “bad”. To answer a creative calling was the most suspect thing of all. “Useless. Selfish indulgence.” Something to fit in after the ‘real’ work was done. Which, of course seldom happened.

Claiming my creative voice was first and foremost a declaration of independance.

Regardless of who we are and any early conditioning we experienced, we have to be  very brave to make art. By its nature, art is a different way to see things and different always challenges someone, somewhere 

Personal and unique are essential qualities of any creative process and its product.  But art exposes the heart of the artist. 

And that’s scary.  To see the venom some people can spew I only have to explore social media. It takes an extremely courageous heart to step into the line of fire totally exposed.

I do lots of creative things. Painting, knitting, quilting, collage; but it’s in writing that I find the edges of my fear.  Art needs to skate that edge.

I have two novels partially completed exploring topics that frightened me away from the work. I put the work away fearful of what “they” would say. My heart felt too tender for blunt blows. 

Am I brave enough to go looking for that missed turn?

Suddenly, possible regret for the road not traveled is more frightening than anything “they” might say.

The Creative Life

Answering the Creative Call

Time is MoneyI know I’m not the only one who struggles to fit creative time into my life but I wonder if those of us who have our own business find it doubly hard? There’s always something more to do and never enough time to get it all done. And somewhere inside there’s a meter running. Our hours get measured out by the dollar rather than the joy.

That’s certainly been the case for me this winter. I am busier than ever in my business which leaves me less time for the simple pleasure of making something with my hands. I miss the quiet time spent piecing together a quilt. I need the mindfulness that comes when I paint.

Thank goodness I manage to get some knitting in. It quiets my ‘busy brain’ and provides a much-needed break. Even a few rows is progress and serves to remind me that everything is a process that happens one step, one stitch, one stroke  at a time.

But I’m hungry for more.

Love Art

Which is why I took a few minutes to blog about it this morning. Kind of a reminder to myself that there is more to my life than dollar signs.

Don’t get me wrong. As a small business coach, I find it extremely rewarding to help people take control of their own success.  It’s creative work as well.  ( The ultimate for me is working with other creatives who want their passion AND a profit.)

So, if I were coaching me, here are 3 tips I’d give myself:

1) Step away from the computer.

Shut down email and internet. Turn off the smart phone. Close the tablet. The business side of your business will always be there. Unless you’re in emergency services, nothing you do involves blood and mayhem. It can wait.

2) Be prepared.

Have a project set up and ready to work on so when you have 10 minutes, you don’t spend it getting out the supplies you need.

3) Just 15 minutes.

Shift your thinking about time. You don’t need hours and hours of free time. You’d be surprised at the progress you can make in just 15 minute intervals. If you can write 500 words in 15 minutes, you could get the rough draft of a novel done in a year.

What works for you? How do you find time to balance your creative call and other responsibilities?