But I don't have time.....

Ignoring Your Inner Whiny Child

Writer, you're a busy-ass person.

And because of this, you’ve got it in your head that writing that book or digging into that creative project isn’t very important right now.

No? You’re not thinking this? So…why aren’t you writing? (if you are prolifically pounding away at the computer keys or you can’t keep up with your pen and paper, you could skip this post…but you may want to read it for the future, because we all hit these roadblocks.)

Oh, I see. Writing that book or screenplay, or working on that creative project, is simply not as important as paying your bills, spending time with your family or loved ones, or volunteering at the school fundraiser.

And you’re right.

Much of the time, that can be true.

But if you find yourself thinking this most of the time?

Then, my soul-thirsty friend, you could not be more wrong.

If you’re feeling seen right now, I challenge you to take a good look at your life and all of the things that you do. Of course your daily life-tasks are very important, and they do indeed need to be done. (And if you or a loved one is in crisis mode right now? Of course, please, focus on that.)

But why do we tend to look at taking care of life-stuff as separate from our own creative desires? That feeling inspired and expressing ourselves aren’t just as important as the things we need to check off our lists, for our overall well-being?

Time to pursue our creative passions often tends be the last priority. The reward. IF you get all of your 'chores' done, THEN you can try to find the time to eek out a few pages or a few strokes of the pen.

I know it’s not easy, and I’m not saying I’m always good at it. But I believe in my heart of hearts, that making your creativity a priority is not only going to replenish your soul and make you a happier person overall; it will help you be better at your job and your caretaking, and more present at the events and places you choose to give your precious time. 

Because when you’re in the thick of those life-tasks, your lightened heart and mood can and will spread joy to others. And since you’ve already taken some time to answer and heed that creative call of the wild, and know you will continue to do so, your head will be clear and focused and you’ll stop worrying and beating yourself up about not making any progress with it.

You know what, peeps? It's summer!

And I declare this the Summer of Creativity.

(ok maybe not yet according to the actual solstice, but it’s warm here in Minneapolis so damnit, it’s summer.)

For the next four weeks, I’m going to be chatting about some ideas that will help you get your writing on. Hell, maybe it will be a theme for the entire summer! (as much as my Virgo self likes planning, my inner rebel will always push the envelope and not want to commit to anything too structured. Yes, this can be a problem.)

I can hear you now. “But that’s the point, I don’t have the tiiime…”

(Sorry, I just made you a whiny child.)

And here’s me being the annoying parent saying what you know is right: You can MAKE the time.

Here’s the thing.

Somehow we’ve got it in our heads that in order to write that book we have to commit to sitting down and pounding out four whole pages every day. (I’m looking at you, Stephen King.)

Sure, that’s all fine and dandy, and that practice is an ideal way to make some serious progress in your work. But Stephen King is at the point in his life where he can pick his nose for eight hours a day and still get paid a boatload of money to do it.

Now I adore Mr. King, but for the rest of us, just doing anything is making progress.

And that leads me to my first tip for you–

Start committing yourself by dropping someone else's expectations.

Goals are one thing, and we’ll get to that, but unrealistic expectations that don’t come from your inner self–what really works for you, not just what you think you should do– will stop you dead in your tracks before you even start.

It’s not all or nothing.

You know how you can throw spare change into a jar and before you know it, you’re dumping your coins into that cool money counter at the bank and seeing the total come out to a shocking $60? Give yourself a pat on the back for even putting in a few coins–or sentences–at a time.

Any time spent on your craft is time well spent. Period. Unless you have an actual deadline given to you by a publisher, you can be gentle on yourself and do as much as you can do, when you can do it. It’s not a race.

The trick is keeping that up. To keep doing something. We all have different reasons and goals for writing. Some of us want to be published, or self-published, so we aren’t only writing for us, we are writing for our readers as well. Some of us only want to write to cleanse our wounds, or puzzle things out in our own, private way. It’s all valid, and it’s all important.

In my next (however many!) posts, I’ll be sharing more about how you can be more motivated to make that time, and what you can do with it.

If you are called to write, you are called to speak your voice. And that’s just as important as paying your bills.

So what say you? Are you ready to make some time for your creativity with me? See you next week for another refreshing summer tip!

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