No "Time" to Create: 4 Questions to Ask Instead
As I write this blog, I hear the trickle of the evening’s rain drizzle from the rooftop amid the chirping of finches. A gentle hint of yellow seeps through the misty morning and a cool breeze sweeps over my arms. The only sound from within the house is my Boston Terrier snoring far off from the daybed I sit upon.
It is 6 A.M. and I am writing before I start my day, because my day today is of a day-job which precludes any sort of creativity. Many of you, after a long day of work, have repeated the words, “I don’t have time to be creative, to do my writing, my art, my passion…”
Perhaps, the word “Time,” is an excuse disguising another issue, the real reason you are not creating.
Yes, if you have a family at home and are working 40 hours a week, it is difficult to imagine anything other than not having the time to do what you love. However, there could be something else at play, Dr. Maisel in Unleashing the Artist Within says, “When a client has pressing time issues, those issues are both real and also not the whole story.”
Try tossing these 4 questions, up and down, juggle with more than one, see what remains in your hands.
Instead of no time, is my issue no ENERGY?
Are your brain cells fried? Perhaps, the mere thought of doing your creative work, is just that, “Work,” because you are so exhausted you have forgotten your creativity is your creative “Pleasure.” The time you carve out for what you love could fuel the energy you need to complete draining tasks. Do you need to re-evaluate your day job, the stress, the hours, the compatibility? Is there something you need to sacrifice in the short term to achieve the goal of creating more in the long term?
Instead of no time, is my issue no COMMUNICATION?
Are you having difficulty voicing your needs? Do you have supportive relationships where you can express the need to do your work with ease? One evening I had mentioned to my husband I would be writing in the morning. The next morning, as I was typing away, he walked into the room discussing the backyard. I quickly snapped at him, and he responded, “The door was open.” Yes, it would have been more mindful of me to have closed the door. Are you able to set boundaries, and when necessary, close doors?
Instead of no time, is my issue no PRIORITIZING?
This is a great question for parents of young kids! When my daughter was 4 months old the muse for my first novel came to me. “Not now,” I said to my higher power, “Why now?” The timing was not great, but it was important, and I listened. Think of how you could be a role model to your kids, other family members, or friends by acting on what you deem as authentic and important.
Instead of no time, is my issue no BELIEF?
Do you truly allow your creativity to give you meaning? Are you afraid your art or writing or music does not really matter? The fear your work is not good enough can stop you from creating. Ultimately, we all choose what gives us meaning in life, and fears of the outcome of your creativity can be bellied by experiencing the mere doing of your work as enough. When you decide your creativity does not need to be justified or qualified but merely a part of who you are, you discover belief.
Once you have tossed these questions around and have held them tightly in your hand the idea of no time can be thrown football yards away. Time is something you commit to and carve out, ideally first thing in the morning, when you do have energy, after you have communicated and prioritized with the belief your creativity is important! Begin your morning early with what you love, and it will buoy you through a day full of obligations.