These last few weeks have been crazy. Between school starting and two kids in sports at opposite ends of our county, I’ve had to put everything creative on the back burner. That’s hard on a writer girl’s psyche. But what are creative working mamas to do when life goes crazy? How do we maintain our sanity when we can’t practice our craft? Here are a few ideas to soothe your artsy soul when there’s no time to create.
Take a deep breath
When you’re making money from your craft, the time crunch causes extreme stress. We all know that stress and successful creativity don’t mix. Give yourself permission to skip a few projects or cut the number of your blog posts to one a week or less.
When you’re calm, it’s easier to kick into artist mode when you have a few minutes between daily responsibilities. I’ve been known to get inspiration in the pick-up line or while I’m waiting for pasta to boil in the kitchen.
Keep Your Supplies with You
It’s hard to honor your inspiration if you don’t have your tools at hand. I have a whole collection of micro blogs in the Note app on my phone. I’ve seen mamas sketching ideas on the sidelines of sports fields.
I use a Lenovo laptop/tablet combo. It’s small enough to be perfectly portable, and I can sit in the window seats at dance practice and write while my daughter plies. Who doesn’t love writing and reading in a window seat, even if said seat isn’t in your own home?
Take Your Time
Spending hours each day in our craft rooms or offices sounds great, right? In reality, most of us creative mama types aren’t going to keep our kids from doing sports, stop our community involvement, or quit our day jobs to hang out all day in our creative cocoon. We simply have to suck it up when there’s no time to create. Right?
Not exactly. We still need to force out some time for ourselves. It’s okay to bow out of a weekend birthday party or miss a practice or two if you have a willing friend or family member to jump in on your behalf. This weekend, I passed up a terrific opportunity to go do some fun fall stuff with a dear friend.
I really wanted to time away, and I know our kids would have had a blast. Instead, I spent the time doing some chores to make the coming weeks go more smoothly. I know I would have enjoyed the trip a great deal more than all the laundry and cleaning I did; however, I bought myself more time and sanity. Bonus—I had a day to barricade myself in my space and write.
Value the Time Away from Your Craft
That seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Actually, taking a time out from your creativity can infuse new life in your work. Your art will surely be more vibrant when colored by your everyday experiences. Kids grow and change from the challenges of sports and you watch from the sidelines. Your community benefits from the time you give. Your productivity at work helps your company. Your small moments are so much bigger than you even realize.
Allow that pause. Embrace the break. Then let your moments take off in your paintings and stories. The rest of us need to experience what you make when you get back from that vacation life is forcing you to take. Don’t worry, even if you find yourself with no time to create. We’ll be here when you return!