Time for creativity when adulting

For some people creativity is their world, it is the thing they live for the most. They are able to dedicate their time entirely to their creative endeavor. Writers, artists, musicians, we all know that one person that seems to always have time to create their masterpiece. I am not that person! Let’s be realistic… most of us aren’t.

Over the years I have had to learn to fit my creative pursuits into the rest of my day-to-day life. You know, fit it around all that adulting that we have to do, the boring stuff. I have come to know myself and what I am really, really bad at (such as getting around to writing blog posts for our business) and what I am good at (like fixing the website when it crashes). I also know how all of these things can be used to help me make time for creativity in my life. Here are some of my tips for people like me, who want to be more creative.

Plan your work

I’m a chronic planner, I have a notepad and a list for everything. I’m even one of those weirdos that writes a packing list for travel, complete with a day-by-day schedule of what I’m going to wear to maximise my wardrobe and carry less clothes. Where I come unstuck with my planning is when it involves being creative. My creative brain is a mess. It is like a completely different person has taken over my psyche and if they touch a notepad and pen it’ll burn them like a demon with a crucifix. I just can’t do it!

When I finally get to be creative, I have clear direction and more importantly, a clear head. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking, ‘but where is the spontaneity and fun that comes with being creative without a plan?’ I still get that, I’m not actually doing the work when I’m planning, I am setting goals, determining time frames and making lists. When I finally get to be creative, I have clear direction and more importantly a clear head.

Schedule time for creativity

Everyone has a schedule that includes a number of boring adulty things, like the dentist visit you have every six months, dinner at seven with the in-laws and leg day at the gym (my least favourite). These are things I schedule into my life and I don’t even like doing them (sorry in-laws). So I decided to schedule in the things I do like doing, like being creative.

As a photographer by trade, I started scheduling in a weekly photo trip in my city. I chose somewhere I hadn’t been before, or been to in a while and I just wandered around snapping away. Pure bliss.

When I want to write, I do something similar, I take my notebook (or laptop) for a walk to one of the beautiful parks in my city, sit myself against an obliging tree and just write whatever I want.

If I didn’t schedule the time in, I would never do it.

Don’t let the world get you down

We all have those down days, weeks or months (April, I’m looking at you…) and the first thing to suffer is our creative brain. This year I had the worst April in my life (ok, so I can be a drama queen), but I was been incredibly demotivated. As a consequence, I noticed that the things I love doing were the first things I ignored.

Why stop doing the things that actually make me happy?

What about this blog post?

I just told myself to get this blog post done, “just get on with it!” I realised that I spent the last hour having a blast doing what I love and before I knew it, it was all over and I could start the next masterpiece!

In the appropriate, allocated time, of course.

Working for the win: Becoming a better writer through the work we do

I have had a lot of different jobs, from selling beds to shelving books and even flipping burgers. I have had a lot of jobs partly because I’m still working to find my niche, partly because flipping burgers pays significantly less shelving books. As a writer I’ve found my work environments have influenced my writing and helped me to build useful relationships

By Tighearnan

I have had a lot of different jobs, from selling beds to shelving books and even flipping burgers. I have had a lot of jobs partly because I’m still working to find my niche, partly because flipping burgers pays significantly less shelving books. As a writer I’ve found my work environments have influenced my writing and helped me to build useful relationships.

You’ll find your way

It took me years of work to realise what I wanted to do with my life and even now that I’m an author, I’m also a partner in my own publishing house and a librarian! Would I like to be just one thing? Yes. Do I know what that would be? Well… also yes but it took me years of solid work to realise how much wanted to do what I want to do and how important it was to commit.

So don’t be too concerned if your first job is not exactly what you wanted. It’s a rare case to find someone who is in the job they will occupy for life, particularly at an early age. Keep working and you’ll find your niche.

It’s important to work

Don’t starve for your art, it’s a little clichéd and a lot irresponsible. Think about it, if you’re living and not working someone is paying for it. Don’t you think they would like to explore their artistic side, don’t they deserve happiness? Yes they do, so don’t rely on others, earn your own dough.

When you work you get into good rhythms and figure out the best way for you to work, at your job and at your writing. Work for a while and you will start to figure out how to find the time you need to do things you want as well as the things you need. Really useful when you need to edit you own work or meet an important deadline.

Take your experience with you

The best part about being out in the wide world is you get to meet people who you wouldn’t normally hang out with. Some of the best friends I have made have come from some of the ‘worst’ jobs because you can’t hide who you are in a less than ideal situation.

Not only does meeting different people grow your social circle and build you networks. The people you meet can inspire the characters that you write about. I’ve met my characters at bus stops, on the other side of a counter and even flipping burgers. Meeting these people in person doesn’t just help you to build a character profile it helps you empathise with them on a personal level. This will come across in your writing.

You aren’t the only one

Everyone has to work at some stage in the life and a lot of the work you do, won’t be satisfying. A lot of authors have had to work odd jobs: William Faulkner is said to have written ‘As I lay dying’ on quiet night at the office, Jack Kerouac was dishwasher, Franz Kafka was a clerk and Agatha Christie worked as an assistant to apothecary.

The thing about work, is you need to adapt yourself to your organisations goals, sometimes your ideas will be accepted and praised, sometimes they will be rejected. Dealing with rejection is important, because you will face it often in your artistic career. Better to learn how to take rejection while you’re being paid then getting rejected for free.

Finally

Remember, it’s important to keep perspective, if you’ve worked your fill and just want to write, do it, you’ve earned your chance to fulfill your potential. But you if you haven’t worked much and need some perspective doing a job is a great place to start.