Creativity takes time. Lots and lots of time. This is just a simple fact of the creative life. Here’s the thing, time is the one commodity we all share that is finite.
How often do you wish you had more time to draw, paint, write or take photos? You can’t wish for more time. Well you can, but let me know if that works for you.
Wishing might make you feel better, but there’s a better way to actually make more creative time.
Take Time To Think
Since we’re talking about time, the first step in the process is to take a block of time, maybe 30 minutes to an hour to just think.
Give thought to what you want to create, but I’ve found the best place to start is with priorities.
For me, a priority is to draw everyday. I have to practice my craft daily or else I feel an overwhelming sense of emptiness. But it’s not the creative priorities I’m talking about, yet.
The fact is we have a number of other priorities: family, food, shelter, money. Of course life would be top drawer if all we had to worry about was what values to use or shutter speed to select on our next piece.
We have to think about everything else in life. The priorities.
Cut Out the Distractions
Let’s face it, we live in a world connected to everything. Our screen time occupies so much of our daily hours, we’ve become distracted. We spend most of our day with something digital.
Think about how much of your day is spent on social media, reading a tablet or simply watching TV. I’ll be fair in that much work is now done via electronic means. Even marketing our work requires a significant digital presence.
So here’s a priority you have to consider: How much of your business requires this digital presence? Think about what you need to do and what you are actually doing.
I personally spend very little time on Facebook. I use Instagram and Twitter only to market my thoughts and work. The time I spend online I try, mostly, to use it reading articles of value. If you’re going to engage in social media and be online, make that time valuable.
Again, gaining value is a priority. Filling the “non-creative” time with things that contribute to learning information and building your own base of knowledge. I think by doing this, you’re adding knowledge and ideas to your creative time.
Creativity Doesn’t Know Time
Creativity doesn’t watch a clock. There’s no creative timer. Maybe there’s an app, but that’s another distraction.
“The creative process is not controlled by a switch you can simply turn on and off; it’s with you all the time.”
You have to make time for creativity. You just have to. Cutting out the distractions will give you this time. The minutes are there.
The next time you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed of endless posts people want you to see, think about what you could create in that same amount of time.
Creativity doesn’t work with distractions. Creativity works with time.
Creativity doesn’t stop. It’s a constant that requires time. Effort. Like anything worth doing, you must give your creativity time to work.
Distractions, especially the digital kind, does nothing to help your creativity. Do you really need that app that everyone else has? Do you really need to spend countless hours on Facebook? Do you need to read this post? The irony of writing this is I’m distracting you. But I hope, what I’ve written, in some way, adds value to your creative life.
Here’s my call to action for you: each time you are ready to distract yourself from creating, ask if what you’re about to do will add value to your life.
If yes, go for it.
If no, think twice.
Let me know what distracts you? What adds value to your life and your creativity? Leave me a comment below.
Of course if you prefer, connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. I promise to limit the distractions.