My morning ritual is basically a walking tour of broken creative promises.
Get up, pack my notebook in my work bag – probably won’t crack it open today, but I should have it anyway, right? Just in case.
In the living room, sit your son on the couch to put on his shoes and extract from his (alarmingly tenacious?) grip your sketch book, three unfinshed sketches going on a week untouched, but obviously now’s not the time to be focused on that. You’ll wrap them up later.
Down the basement stairs, step over the acryllic paints and canvases you brought home and dumped there a month ago, still shrink wrapped, foil seals in the paint still intact, brushes still bagged. You’ll get around to them eventually.
Go to swap out the washer and dryer, glance over at the table covered in polymer, wire, and beads, two pendants mid-way through completion for the past three weeks. You’ll find time to finish them someday.
One of the worst things about This Thing in My Head is, as difficult as it makes finishing projects, it makes it so exciting to start them. And I have a broad range of interests – I love making jewelry, I love drawing, I love painting, I love writing, I love web projects. Ilove the thrill of creating something.
But once the honeymood period of the project is over – when the real heavy lifting happens – This Thing in My Head nopes the hell out of there, and leaves me with yet another in a ever-growing list of things I’ll get around to finishing “someday.”
I’m learning to adjust to that. Truly. I’m getting better at completing certain projects (especially hands-on and crafting projects), getting better at finding time in my schedule where things could potentially get done. The problem I’m facing right now is – what?
I have finite time in my days. Of that time, so much is taken up by work or my son – I have maybe two childfree hours a day, right before bed, and while I’m all for using those to work on projects – what? What takes precedence?
How do you choose what to work on when you are creative in a variety of ways? The typical advice for writers is “Write every day,” but what if you are a writer who also paints and draws and sculpts, who makes jewelry and designs t-shirts and cosplays and collages, and only has a very small window of time daily to be creative? Do you cram it all in, forty minutes on X, forty minutes on Y, etc.? Does that sort of jumping around effect the depth and quality of art you are able to produce?
Do you divvy it up by day, work on writing on Monday, do some drawing on Tuesday, paint on Wednesday, etc.? Does that week long lull between sessions on any particular project impede gaining creative momentum, affecting the quality of the product while also prolonging the time spent working on it?
Do you wing it, say “as the Muse moves me,” and just hope to God that the muse will hit you, and when it does, it will be somehow related to an existing project and not what is sure to become yet another God-forskaen To-Do note on your calendar?
Throw me a bone, people. I’m at my wits end.