The most common complaint of an artist, whether they’re a writer, actor or other creative being is that they never have enough time to pursue their art. If they work full-time it’s a challenge to map out time to be creative and if they aren’t working they most likely have to spend the bulk of their time looking for employment and that can sap anyone’s creative juices.
So how does one stay in the black without feeling so blue?
We all know that being able to pay the bills and put food on the table is tantamount to staying alive. So bringing in an income HAS to be the top priority even in a creative life. If you can make money utilizing your art that’s even better, but most of us need a day job in order to survive. If you have a rich spouse, family members or friends who are willing to support you while you build your art portfolio, that is wonderful. FOR YOU! You’re probably the rarest thing since the birth of Lebron James.
What works for me is to create something EVERY DAY. Even if it’s a one line poem. Or a witty Facebook or Twitter status update. So when I’m looking for work or at work I can still stay connected to the part of me that wants to be writing instead of working. There is no guilt, let down or anger when I’ve created something no matter how small. I breathe deeper and I have a swagger in my walk when I do this.
Of course the goal is to be able to be creative in longer spurts so that’s where your commitment and planning has to come into play. When I wrote my first novel, I woke up at 3 in the morning and wrote until 7 before getting ready for my nine-to-five. I was plugged in and rolling then. It took a while for me to build up to that, but when my schedule was set, I didn’t deter.
Am I there now? Goodness no! But, I’ve done it before so I KNOW I can do it again. So can you if you aren’t already doing it. While I get back into my zone, I’m doing other things that fulfill me creatively. It’s after 8 P.M. while I’m writing this. I’m tired and my eyes are a little bleary from working all day and thinking and doing my day-to-day thing to survive, but I need this time to write and let my fingers flow across these keys. The music is wafting up and around me from my computer speakers. My breathing is steady. My foot is tapping. I’m actually smiling too. It’s feels good when I make time for the things that mean the most to me even if it doesn’t add up to 15 chapters of my next novel. I’m going to get there. I have no choice but to get there.
So this is a part of my process. As an artist how do you balance your books? Books meaning finances and also the creative part of your life. Of course I use books interchangeably here because as a writer a book is the ultimate symbol of creativity.
Please share your challenges and solutions and perhaps we can start a dialogue around this issue that may help another artist.
Stay creative my friends.
© 2010 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.
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