Begin

Finding Time for Creativity

Do you struggle to find the time for your own creativity? Other things come along and for some reason you never seem to get around to your art.

I understand that feeling. It’s so easy to put it off for “someday.”

I struggle with it too! It’s common . . . and normal.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been developing a new career where I help other midlife women discover their passion, joy, and creative spirit. This career includes creating an online course and monthly membership. While inspiring and fun, it’s a challenge to find the time to create.

Well, let me be more specific.

I’m creating things all the time but what I’m creating is content for the course, materials to support the lessons, website pages, and course platform graphics. What seems to be sliding is my own personal collage and mixed media pieces.

I began this new enterprise because I found myself lost, unhappy, feeling stuck in life with very little inspiration. It’s a long story but I needed to “find my way back.” I did some deep work and rediscovered my true path! I’ve helped others find their creative spark too and decided that I needed to offer this to a wider audience. I’ve created my entire business around it!

What I didn’t expect was that creating course content would require so much time and attention. I’ve discovered that, day after day, I don’t schedule in “me time.” Me time for collage, 3-D design, and surface pattern design. And I miss it!

It became clear I had to schedule my personal creative time and protect that time with my life!

Well, maybe not my life, but you get the idea.

I’m an action-taker and don’t spend a lot of time floundering in my own unhappiness for very long. I’ve been able to release a new collection only a few weeks ago and got a set of new cards finished for a friend. I realized that I have some pretty good tips to share with you that I’ve used myself to find time for my own creativity.

ProTip #1: Keep those supplies ready. . . and handy

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I recently reorganized my studio. Whatever your space, a studio, a spare room, or a corner of the dining table, keep it organized and ready. Not a full out set-up if that’s not feasible but keep what’s necessary for the beginning steps handy.

My collage pieces usually start from inspiration garnered from a particular art paper, pattern, or found object. So, I keep a space on my table clear, a stack of base paper handy, and my tools organized and ready for action. I keep my tools on a lovely rustic centerpiece tray, so it looks great sitting out all the time. All the coordinating papers and elements are in containers stacked immediately under the table.

Be ready when the time to create arrives. Which brings us to the next tip…

ProTip #2: Be aware that creativity may not arrive “on demand…”

I experience this often and it requires a slight mindset shift. In my case, there are times when creativity doesn’t just pour out onto the page. Often, I’ll arrive at my table and find myself staring at that piece of paper, or that found object, for several minutes before I can get started. My mind might go blank, and I’ll get the urge to get up, have more coffee, or fold the laundry.

I know this might happen, so I have a trick that helps me stick with it and get the creative juices flowing. Here it is… I play with my art supplies. I’ll find complimentary papers, I’ll go thru my ribbons, or I’ll mix a few coordinating paint colors on a corner of my paper. I might even experiment with mark making with my pens and pencils. Just getting my hands moving really helps! Try it and see if it helps you. Whatever you do, don’t give up and leave the table.

ProTip #3: Resist the urge to do household tasks

This one, and Tip #4, have to do with distractions! This is hard when your studio is in your home. I find it so easy to just walk away and pretend I’m being productive. LOL. Yes, all that laundry needs to be folded, the dishes need to be put away, and there is always something that needs dusting. BUT…they can wait. I’m speaking from experience.

There is time for it all later. The only way I can make time for my personal creativity is to actually MAKE the time…and honor it! So, I urge you to stay with it, play with your supplies, doodle, sort, arrange paper in a colorful pattern. Whatever keeps you connected to your space until something pops up. You’ll be surprised how often this works!

ProTip #4: Stay away from your devices

Speaking of distractions….

One of the biggest time wasters, and things I do when I’m procrastinating, is to check my phone or email. The same goes for that rabbit hole known as social media! Don’t we all! It’s too discouraging to look at everyone else’s beautiful work while mine sits waiting on the table.  And don’t get me started on that lie I tell myself about “researching for inspiration.” Anyone ever scroll social media and then say to yourself “I’m not that talented’” or “It’s all been done before,” or “What’s the use.” ???

Turning off my devices keep me from checking email. But if that’s too scary for you, put your phone in another room. I’m gearing up to launch my course and I’m dying to check blog and post interactions, leads, and other prep metrics. I need to resist the temptation and I’m recommending you do the same. It will all be there when their time comes.

Tip #5: Your Turn

I’ve shared what works for me. And I know that there are plenty of other ways to ensure you keep your “me time.” I’m reserving tip #5 for your ideas. How do you find, and honor, your creative time? What’s working, and what’s not working, for you? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Email me at virginia@virginialeighstudio.com and let me know. I really want to hear from you. And you’ll be talking to a real person who struggles with the same things you do.

OK, so me time is coming up. I’m going to wrap this up now because there are several cards on the table waiting for me to glue down the first layer. I can’t wait. I hope you’ll find time for your creativity today too.

B-U, on purpose, 4-Life

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and family. Click your favorite social platform below. Sign up for my email list for weekly creative inspiration and come join my private Facebook group, Virginia’s Studio Cats at https://www.facebook.com/groups/virginiasstudiocats.

You can also join me Live every Wednesday at 3:00pm CST on my Facebook page @VirginiaLeighStudio.

2 thoughts on “Finding Time for Creativity”

  1. Jennifer Wygal Millett

    I find games on my iPad my distraction. But I have to do Brain games because my therapist wants me to. I’ve got to get off of that track though. So that’s got to go! I’ve been using the family room for my “studio” so I don’t stay in bed. My “crap” room is inaccessible at the present moment and it’s not comfortable for tatting and that’s what I’m focused solely on right now. It’s exciting and I’m getting better at it. Yay!!

    1. Great insights! But maybe the games don’t need to go completely, especially if they are needed. How about scheduling them, as you would an appointment, or as you would your creative time. If its on the calendar, you are more likely to stay on track. Make your brain games important by giving them some planned time. The same with your creativity. Schedule it. Sounds like you’ve got some wonderful creative spaces, each with its own purpose! Good job!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.