Thursday Thoughts: Making Time for Creativity

Thursday Thoughts: Making Time for Creativity

These Thursday blogs are supposed to be all about creativity. Seems funny coming from a writer who has barely had enough time each week to post a daily blog. I haven’t been so creative myself lately, beyond my #dailypics feature on Instagram, and that isn’t always so easy to come up with every day. And here I am espousing all of the value of finding ways to add creativity into your day. What a hypocrite.

 

That’s what I felt as I sat down to write this blog today. But today and the past few days, I’ve been thinking a lot. And so, today’s blog is about turning a page, and perhaps there are some of you out there reading this who may need to join me in this effort.

 

I’ve just returned from a trip with some out-of-town friends and my husband visiting the lovely city of Charleston, S.C., a city that I’ve been to only one other time, eleven years earlier, during a milestone time in my life then – when I accepted the position of editor for Skirt! Tampa Bay magazine, a new franchise publication that my newspaper employer, the now dissolved Tampa Tribune (may she rest in peace), would come to produce. The whole core team of three — editor, designer and publisher — flew up to Charleston to meet with the original magazine’s founder and production team to get a true sense of what the publication was about. We barely had a chance to explore the city, as it was a fairly short trip, but I remember at the time feeling like the mood and charming appearance of the historic downtown area fit so well with this unique magazine.

skirt

 

The Tampa-based print publication only ran for a year and was free to readers, as this Charleston March 2019 edition (right) is still to this day. I found this copy in the home we rented for the week in the ‘burbs of Charleston. And my apologies to a few friends living in the Charleston area who I was not able to reach out to while we were in town — the visit was as much about catching up with an old friend who traveled down there to meet us halfway as it was to explore the city, so time was pretty precious for that purpose, but if I am ever back in that lovely part of the country again, I will reach out next time around… pinky promise.

 

I got a little misty-eyed when I picked up this magazine. It immediately brought me back to another time, more than a whole decade ago. The original publication looks and feels nothing like the current one. That’s not to say this newer incarnation is less worthy — just not the same. Not my Skirt! At the time I still worked full-time in media, I devoted all of my creative energy to my job. When the local publication dissolved and I and others were let go, I moved into freelance writing and editing full-time, working for myself. Again, all of my creative energy went to my clients. There was none left for me. That’s probably why I was so unsuccessful getting a book off the ground  until finally in late 2012 I committed myself to putting the processes and accountability strategies in place to get my butt into that chair at my home office desk and put aside the clients for a set amount of time each week to write…FOR ME.

 

That can be one of the most difficult things for a person to do who holds a creative job for a living. If you do marketing, creative writing or content development, graphic design, publicity or PR, or some other form of communications for a client (or multiple clients) that requires you to think on your feet, brainstorm and channel ideas into action items, you probably don’t have much left for yourself at the end of the night.

 

I never did.

 

But then, one day I woke up and told myself — hey, wait. Am I not a client, too? Maybe not a paying client, but I am a client. Shouldn’t I get my creative energy at my optimum level, too?

 

So, I made a few changes to what was on my plate, shifted a few things, streamlined some processes that were still cumbersome for a couple monthly jobs and stuck this new client in there… ME.

 

You do realize you don’t have to be a writer for this blog to apply to you, too, and the struggle to include time for yourself doing whatever it is that you know deep in your heart you need to insert into your life. Maybe you have an administrative job and you really want to get off the seat you spend much of your time on and do something active — possibly in your child’s school or in your community.  Or you might be a person regularly taking care of others in some capacity — a caregiver, a nurse, a teacher or childcare professional, full-time moms — and you really wish you had more time to devote to your own health or well-being.

 

Whatever it is you need — for some of us, it just may be free time or more energy to sleep or pleasure-read (or all of the above!) — it all starts with carving out that time. If you want it enough, you suddenly find greater ease in identifying those things you don’t want as much and either eliminate, delegate or minimize those time monopolizers and energy robbers.

 

This trip reminded me that I still have some stories to tell. And yes, working multiple jobs may be a common occurrence in my household and other households all over the country, but it doesn’t have to hold me back from telling my stories. If I want it badly enough. Do I? I am currently asking myself that right now.

 

There are plenty of fallacies (like “no time”) that convince us we cannot infuse creativity into our life, and I’ll be chatting about those in a future blog, but for now, if you are like me and wanting to be able to make more time in your day for writing (to publish, practice or simply for self-expression and discovery), it’s time to look in the mirror and get honest with yourself. How badly do you want this? Map out your day and find those pockets and places of inspiration or silence (if that’s what you need) and commit. Write it down. Recite it aloud. Say it to your face in the mirror. Maybe even share this goal you are dedicating yourself to with a close friend who knows your desire to spend more time writing.

 

sky

 

Let your wish rise above dream status to become an actual commitment. Bring it down from the clouds to something you can see, hear and touch, on the ground below. Your words are waiting to be written.  And I sincerely hope they get the chance to be read and heard.

 

 

As always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.

 

 

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