Finding Time for Creative Pursuits

Ah, vacation.

This past month, I was able to drive across the country to New Hampshire to visit family for a few weeks. Even the long drive with two little ones was non-stressful and fun. Although I did end up taking work with me (oh, the life of a freelancer—gotta love it) I still got to spend a lot of time with my family, reunite with loved ones I don't see often, and take in the beautiful spring scenery of the New England area, which I consider home. It was a much-needed pick-me-up for my soul.

It's been a bit of a struggle lately as far as my creative output. Work is doing well enough, which is great, but with that comes less time to work on personal stuff. There are several professional goals I've been working toward this year as far as building my portfolio and building my career as an artist. While I've had some successes, I also feel like I've come to a halt. It isn't so much a lack of motivation (as in the past) but it is now more due to a lack of TIME.

Here are a few things that have helped me to make time to create:

1. Draw, write, make... (whatever you do) every day.

Even if it's just for a few minutes. Even if you think it's trash. Perhaps allot a specific time each day, such as before you start work or before you go to bed. It's all about developing habits and creating output. Nothing will happen unless you DO. Creating on a regular basis is the only way you will produce work, hone your skills, and develop your unique style.

2. Learn to let go and get help!

As a freelancer and stay-at-home mom, I often just have too many things on my plate. It doesn't help that I am also a bit of a control freak and overachiever. I want to do everything and I want to get it done ASAP. I really need to learn to step back and let things go sometimes. Not everything needs to be done immediately or done perfectly or done by me. Or even done at all (I'm talking things like cooking dinner—not client work, haha. Yes, my family probably eats out more than we should, but I get more done!) This past month was actually the first time since I started freelancing that I enlisted other people to help me with some of the tasks that were sucking up my time. It was hard to let someone else help me, but in the end, it was a lifesaver. Work smarter, not harder, right?

3. Create a calendar

Write down your goals so you know where you want to be a month, 6 months, a year, and/or 5 years from now. Divide your goals into smaller tasks and map out those tasks onto a calendar so you have a path to where you want to end up. It might not always go exactly to plan, but it is a good starting point and something you can reference now and again.

Now, I am definitely not the greatest at following my own advice. But you can't beat yourself up over it. Just keep going!

Are you a busy artist as well? How do YOU find time to do what you love? I would love to hear from you!

Till next time.
Sincerely, Nicole

P.S. Here are the mandalas I created for my personal art project these past couple of months. Regrettably, I didn't end up doing very many, but hey, I was on vacation, ok? ;)



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