Carving Out Creative Space

My creative space is in jeopardy.

With my husband finishing his degree, both of us active in our local church, and a baby on the way we are constantly in ‘GO’ mode. Writing, as much as I love it, is often pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. My job in the marketing industry often has me stationary at a computer for 8 hours a day and I usually don’t want to come home and settle down again – even to write. Then, of course, there’s the steady stream of household chores and errands that need doing before I feel like I’ve “earned” the right to indulge in any creative pursuit.

I miss creative space.

old postcards and journal

This isn’t a complaint, it’s merely a confession.

A cry for help, even.

It’s me asking when did I get so busy? And how can I find that creative space again?

The answer escapes me.

Any help, creative friends? You artists, writers, and dancers – where do you carve out your creative space? How do you find or make time for your passions and interests?

5 Comments

  1. Victoria on September 5, 2013 at 8:44 am

    A friend of mine wrote this response on my Facebook wall, I found it highly encouraging!

    “Well, I think you’ll find the time after the baby comes even more challenging. But I find for myself (and I’ve been writing again for the first time in years) the most important thing is to always be working, even when I’m not working. So I chew up the words over and over until something hits me just right, and then I write it down. Or if I’m thinking about something and feel like I want to explore what is influencing me to say it just so, frame it just so, I go and find that source of influence.

    Say I’m working on a melody, and I think, “Hm, am I totally ripping this from Radiohead?” I put on Radiohead and listen while I make dinner or drive out to run errands. I think giving some time to that kind of work, exploring the masters, in the long run improves the product.

    Once the baby comes, you’ll find a willing audience and inspiration for so many things, but you have to grab the snippets during this or that nap, or even sometimes while you’re nursing. You probably have a voice memo feature on your phone. Use it. When you’re in that tiny patch of creative space between one thing and another, you can pin it down. Don’t write anything you’re embarrassed to say out loud. Your voice saying the words is almost as good as a pass at editing something you’ve written. Your constraints will be a factor, so you most likely wont have a lot of time (or energy) to “let the tap run brown” as my friend Renate used to say. Make it count.

    Hope some of that helps.”

  2. Deanna on September 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Time! How I wish there was more of it. I went through a time after Spencer was born when I felt like I couldn’t get on top of anything. Life has gotten in a bit of a groove now though and I feel like most days I can find time to do things like read and write for at least short periods. So, I don’t know that I have any big pieces of advice – just hang in there and I feel you. 🙂

    • Victoria Wilson on September 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      That is encouraging Deanna 🙂 really, it is!

  3. lee on September 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    As simple as it sounds, I make the time. A few years ago, I realized that I wasn’t spending time scrapbooking – which is for me what writing seems to be for you. So I created a challenge for myself – “Two Page Tuesday,” in which I would aim to make two scrapbook pages every Tuesday evening. It meant committing an hour or two of my Tuesday night to that – but the satisfaction of having creative time for my hobby was worth the effort.

    Some nights, if I’m feeling out of the creative mood, I just kind of piddle around, and maybe instead of making actual pages, I organize photos or clean out supplies…but even though it sounds like putting it on my schedule makes it an obligation, it’s nice to know I’m doing something small like that for myself. =)

  4. Gabrielle on September 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I totally understand! Two weeks ago I was feeling really, really crummy because I felt like I kept giving myself away to everyone…and there was no “me” left. What has helped me so much has been a cool schedule chart that LeAnna actually gave me. I plug in what we do weekly in pen (including Jess’ work schedule and Clay’s naps, etc) and look for the free space to schedule in some doodle time or even just a nice bath with a book. I was amazed how much time I found I did have.

    FlyLady (flylady.net) has also helped me tremendously in managing house keeping and errand running so that I can breathe easy and draw without feeling like there is a pile of laundry that needs more attention. Check her out – you don’t have to follow her methods exactly. Modify the routines and systems she offers to fit your lifestyle.

    Love you, dear Victoria, and I know you’ll figure it out. 🙂 Let me know if you want to chat it out 🙂

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