Finding Time for Creative Endeavors

*Do you have a post about scheduling?  Make sure to share a link to it in the link up below!*

I’m sure that your schedule is a lot like my schedule — there never seems to be quite enough time. When I’m pressed for time, as I often am, one of the first things to go is cleaning my house finding time for the creative things I like to do.  (Sadly, that crossed out one is pretty high on the list too.  Shhhh…)

I have always loved having some creative thing to work on, even when I don’t find that time nearly often enough. Many times throughout the years, I’ve been in conversations with people where they’ll say something like, “Scrapbooking?  Oh, I don’t have time for that.”  But, scrapbooking (which I don’t really do anymore) can easily be replaced by many things — art, photography, writing.  And, for other people, it might include things like knitting, sewing, crochet, and so on.  I have found over the years, however, that people will find time for what is important to them.

If you never can find time for the creative endeavor that you want to be doing, you need to ask yourself — is it really and truly in your heart that you want to do it? If it is, then you need to find that time to do it.  If you can’t ever make yourself carve out that time, then maybe it’s just not something that you actually want to be doing.  If that’s the case, consider letting go of it.  (And then let go of the guilt that can sometimes come from not doing a creative thing that you enjoy, or once enjoyed.)

Why Finding Time for Creative Endeavors is Important to Me

I must first admit that I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person.  I have a natural bend to want to say, “If I can’t finish a whole project all at once, then I don’t want to do it at all.”  It’s that kind of attitude that had me creating no art from very end of April through the end of August this year.

Here’s the problem with that — not only did it make me sad and like I was missing a part of myself (a part I’ve only found in these last few years), but there was something else that I was missing.  You see, a friend of mine told me one day that she loved that I was living out my faith through my art.  This made a huge impression on me when she said that.  While not every piece is specifically religious in nature, I know that many of the things I work on try to focus on either the love of God, the beauty of life and the world, special relationships, and other things of a genuine nature.  I had never thought of that, however, until she said it.

To add to this, within a few short days of her saying that to me, I sat in Mass and during the homily, the priest talked about how God wants us to do the things that help us to live out our faith.  I felt like God was telling me that my art was, indeed, a thing that I needed to do to live out my faith life and to share it with others.

You can now imagine why it’s a real issue to me when I go long periods of time without doing anything — I have felt called to be doing it.  So, when I don’t do it, I feel like I’m telling God that I don’t think it’s important.

Now, you may not feel the same way about the creative things you do, but that doesn’t make that time any less important.  The things that you create are done because God gave you that special talent to do them.  (Or, maybe you’re not even very talented at what you do.  I work hard at my art — it is definitely not something that comes naturally.  But, that means that God gave you that drive to work hard at it.)

How I Find Time for My Creative Endeavors

I have finally realized that big blocks of time probably just aren’t going to be the kind of thing I normally can find.  While I do carve out more blocks of time for my writing, my art often doesn’t get that focus.  Maybe you don’t have tons of time to give your creative endeavors either.

Here are some things that I do to make time for my art that might be able to work for you with your favorite creative endeavor too:

1. Work on Small Amounts at a Time – A painting that I just finished the other day was done over the course of a couple of weeks.  As I said – I have to really work at what I do, so since the painting included a woman, I might sit down long enough just to draw and paint her lips.  Then, I would leave the painting until the next day when I worked on her hair.  Even with my all-or-nothing attitude, I have to admit that in those small chunks, I finished the painting.  If I had waited for enough time to work from beginning until end in one sitting, I wouldn’t have started it yet.

2. Creative Time as a Group Effort - While working on the painting I mentioned above, I had at least one day where I went to my itty bitty craft room to work, and I set up a chair for Molly to work too.  This way, I didn’t feel like I was neglecting my time as a Mom, but I was also working on my painting (while she worked on one too).  At one point, she turned to me with such love in her eyes and said, “I am really happy to be working on paintings with you.”

3. Creative Time During Other Activities – We’ve been listening to a book on tape the last few nights.  I told the kids that they could do some quiet activities during the book, or they may just sit and listen.  Two of the kids and myself all worked on sketch books.  I created a piece that I really loved (drawing is so totally not my thing), and it didn’t take any time away from anything else.  We had some wonderful evenings listening and quietly working.  It was such a blessing to all of us!

4. Schedule Time – If all else fails, block off some time every so often (whatever works with you schedule) to work on your creative projects.  In April, I was able to go on a weekend trip to a bed and breakfast with friends.  While they all scrapbooked, I brought along canvases and had a wonderful time.  Of course, it wouldn’t have to be a whole weekend.  Even a special hour would do!

The creative things that your heart yearns to do are important.  Don’t allow yourself to always push them aside in these busy lives we lead.  Take the time to slow down and create.

Several of my friends are sharing today about scheduling topics as well, please make sure to go check them out:

Jimmie’s Collage- Meal Planning for Well Ordered Days

Raising Arrows- How You Spend Your Time Matters

Adventures of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama – Chores ‘Round Here – The Teen Schedule

A Slob Comes Clean- When Life Happens and Your Schedule Stops Working

Finding Joy- The Flexible Schedule. It’s Possible.

Spell Outloud- Do Toddlers and Well-Ordered Days Mix?

Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers- Scheduling Time with Your Husband

Catholic Icing- Creating A Schedule Your Family Can Thrive On!

Get Along Home- How I Stopped Dithering and Learned to Love the Schedule

Do you have a wonderful scheduling post to share?  It doesn’t have to be new, maybe it’s an old favorite.  Be sure to link up here! (Your link will appear on each of the blogs listed above when you share your link on one of them.)



Comments

  1. says

    I really appreciated your post — we also love audio books – I use them in the car and at home when I want to listen with the kids, but also might want to scrapbook or knit at the same time!!

    My first year of homeschooling I felt creatively dead. Sure, the lesson plans were creative, but my own personal creativity was dead. Now I make time to do what I love (which is music… and scrapbooking… and reading… and…. ha!) and I’m a much happier mama!

    • Angie says

      It can be hard to carve out that time unless we’re very intentional about it, isn’t it? I’m trying to be a little more intentional when it comes to my schedule. (We’ll see if that helps.)

  2. says

    I really appreciated your post — we also love audio books – I use them in the car and at home when I want to listen with the kids, but also might want to scrapbook or knit at the same time!!

    My first year of homeschooling I felt creatively dead. Sure, the lesson plans were creative, but my own personal creativity was dead. Now I make time to do what I love (which is music… and scrapbooking… and reading… and…. ha!) and I’m a much happier mama!

  3. says

    Great post! I never considered scheduling in time for my own stuff. I really should, before my mountain of future sewing projects buries us alive.

    • Angie says

      I think it’s so important to try to be intentional with our time and carve out some for what’s important to us on a very personal level. Of course, I generally run around like a mad woman, so I’m a giant hypocrite. ;)

  4. says

    This was such a blessing for me because I am a BIG project girl, and one of them happens to be painting! I, to, tend to be an all or nothing person. THANK YOU!! (yes I’m shouting, at least on the inside!)

    My other problem is that I desire to turn my art into a business, and am always abandoning projects that I don’t think will be marketable or “good” enough. Crazy, huh?!

    • Angie says

      I think it can be really hard to not get caught up in things being marketable or right to sell. I try my hardest to just work on things and if they sell – great. If not, that’s cool too. But, it’s hard not to want things to sell.

  5. says

    I love your post. Great reminders and also some concrete tips for slowing down and making the creative arts important–and present–in our lives!
    I have a favorite quote concerning creativity:
    “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

  6. says

    These are good tips. I constantly struggle with how my creative calls fit into and around my larger call as wife and mom. The balance is something I have yet to grasp. With prayer and grace, I will. Glad to hear you manage to!

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