We are all busy.
That’s just the way life is. We’ve got work, we’ve got family, we’ve got a million other obligations pulling us in a million different directions. So the statement is usually, “I just simply don’t have time to create.”
The thing is, you do.
There’s plenty of time to do so if you just create a little bit each day.
Notice the words ‘little bit’ in that last sentence? Those are key. You need to realize that you aren’t going to write the next Great American Novel of paint the next Mona Lisa in a day. Things like that take time. Lots of time. But there are ‘little bits’ of time each day where you can create and if you are able to get yourself to do that every day, those little things will build up into big things.
A year or so ago I made a commitment to myself to do at least one creative thing a day, no matter how big or small. Some days the creative thing is just some sketches on the Paper app on my iPad. Sometimes the creative thing is some writing on a script or one of my novellas that I never get around to editing. Sometimes the creative thing is a stand up show. The point is that I wake up each morning and say to myself, “Today I’m going to do at least one thing that is creative no matter how small.” And I’ve found that if I do that, I get it done.
Some days, I get a whole day to work on creative projects. Mostly though, I’m taking time out before bed or early in the morning to work on creative projects. The thing is, stuff gets done. There’s that old saying, “Slow and steady wins the race.” It’s true. If you work on your creative project a tiny bit each day, eventually it’ll get done.
Writing two hundred and fifty words a day, every day, for a year is ninety one thousand two hundred and fifty words a year. That’s a novel right there folks. You’ve just written a novel in a year.
You are going to discover that I usually look at things from a writer’s standpoint. Writing two hundred and fifty words takes me about 20 minutes or so (I never said they were good words). Looking at other disciplines, what if you painted for twenty minutes each day? Or practiced piano for twenty minutes a day? That’s seven thousand three hundred minutes a year. One hundred twenty one hours (and some change) a year. What could you create in that time?
I completely understand that you may not have twenty minutes a day. How about ten? How about five?
Maybe one day it’s ten minutes and another day it’s twenty. It doesn’t matter. Little, by little, it will get it done. You will create
And that’s not even the best part. Imagine how good you’ll feel when you commit to creating each and every day. Knowing that your art, your passion, is getting done and you’re keeping your creativity alive.
Start tomorrow. Or today, if there’s time left. Plan out when you’re going to steal away for that twenty (or ten, or five) minutes and then…
This week I want you to try and challenge yourself to work on your create project a little each day. Even if it’s five or ten minutes, find some time each day to work in a little creative fun. How did it go? Were you able to do it? Let me know in the comments below.
To me, being creative is something that has become second nature. It is now like breathing or blinking to me. I just have to create. I’m not saying all of it is good, but I just have this, almost instinctive, desire to constantly create things.
It has actually been that way for a very long time. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to ‘put on a show.’ I can remember recording the audio from cartoons off of television and then rounding up neighborhood kids and putting them through rehearsals to act out the cartoons in front of our parents. When mom and dad would have friends over I would organize the kids to do a lip sync number or something and then drag all the parents to watch it at some point in the evening. As a kid I also loved to draw, though I was never any good at it. I’m still not but I continue to do so anyway. I also loved to sing along with records and strum on plastic guitar (though I didn’t know any chords). I was just always trying to think of someway to entertain people.
I was very lucky. My parents encouraged all this. Sure, they would have liked me to focus a little more on my studies and less on drawing or writing, but they never told me I couldn’t pursue these passions. As I reached high school and started getting involved in theatre and band, they became very involved. Mom in the Drama Boosters and dad building sets for the shows. Again, I know exactly how lucky I am to have had that support and that is largely responsible for why creating is so important to me now.
At the beginning of 2012, for some odd reason, I just started posting daily Facebook posts and Tweets on Twitter that shared a short thought on some aspect of creating. I would sometimes sit down and think of them for the week or sometimes I would just go day after day coming up with one for each day. These daily postings seemed to catch on with people resulting in a lot of ‘Likes’ and ‘ReTweets.’ People would message me privately and let me know the little quotes were inspiring them to be creative in their daily lives and one person even wrote that because of these daily postings, they had left their full time job, partially, to pursue a creative career. Whoa, that’s heavy.
After a couple of weeks of these daily postings, I started to run dry. I had been keeping good track of them, but all the new thoughts I was coming up with were either duplicates of or very similar too ones I had put out earlier, so I stopped. But, as I said, I was keeping good track of them and the thought hit me to take each little thought and then write a three hundred to five hundred word piece on each of them and release them on this blog every Monday. My goal is to do this for a whole year so that by the end of 2014 I’ll have 52 short pieces on different aspects of creativity. I already have fifteen written, not including this intro post, so it’ll continue for fifteen weeks at least.
I would really love this to become something interactive as well. I’d love to hear your feedback on this “Creative Mondays” project as a whole and the weekly posts when they come out. Also, if you feel so inclined, I welcome you to share these posts with anyone you feel would enjoy them. Also, at the end of each piece I will post a question or prompt and I’d love for you to post your response in the comments below. Feel free to interact with other readers as well. Though creativity is not a decisive tops, I ask you please keep discussion civil and supportive. Comments will be moderated. Let’s get a really good creative discussion going!
See you next week for Creative Mondays #001!
This week’s prompt….
Introduce yourself and tell us what your main creative passion is. (Writing? Drawing? Painting? Sculpting? Woodworking? Digital art? Etc.) Tell us in the comments below!
It is the start of a new year and so time to pick three new words I’m going to attempt to focus on in my life for 2014. This is a practice I picked up from C.C. Chapman‘s book Amazing Things WIll Happen.
Last year my three words were Create. Rebuild. Live. I would say out of those three I hit Create the hardest. I certainly was not wanting for creative projects to occupy my time. The Live focus also got some attention this year, but not nearly enough as I would have liked. The Rebuild portion was a hard one. Rebuilding relationships often takes more than one person and, despite efforts, I was not always successful in this arena, though small steps were made.
But those were the words for last year, it’s time to focus on the words for this year.
Health. A lot of people make the old Heath resolution in January and it falls by the wayside weeks later. Back in October, I focused on health for 20 days and it worked. Not only that, it was easy. But then I went to Toronto and instead of keeping going it all flew out the window. Any gains I made were lost. And then some.
So for 2014 I have a goal of taking better care of my self. Yes, this includes eating right, exercising and losing weight, but it means more than just that.