Creative Challenge: No Time

Some people say they really want to be creative, but they just can’t find the time to make something. They have other full-time responsibilities (a job, parenting, a so-called life) and by the time the day nears its end, there is no energy or motivation to actually create. As with other posts, I use writing here as the creative discipline to make it simple, but substitute your discipline of choice for writer and it still applies.

Soul Searching

First, ask yourself if you really want to be a writer. It’s a simple yes-or-no question. If the answer is “yes” then call yourself one. Repeat after me. “I’m a writer.” Now commit to making the clickety-clack sound.

Timing

Find out what time of the day works for you. I know some writers who are very productive at night, and others who can’t write at all after 5 pm. If you have a full-time job doing something else, the best time is most likely early morning or late evening. It doesn’t matter when it is, pick a time that works for you and start writing.

Start Small

You don’t need to start with a 24-hour writing marathon. Ten minutes is enough. The important thing is that you are starting. It’s amazing what can happen with a small start.

Habit Forming

The goal is not to write—it’s to build a habit of writing. If you have no idea what to write, and you have done your morning pages, then tell the story your life is telling as you have lived it (write what you know).

Keep track of your progress. Make a simple calendar-like chart and put a mark on each day you successfully wrote. You know it’s a habit when it starts to feel strange if you miss a day. It’s like drawing a box and putting a check mark in it. Boom. Done.

Is It Working?

Do it for a week. See how it went. Re-evaluate? Did it work? How does it feel? If you are a writer, then the process will speak to you and confirm you that you are. It will start to feel like the right kind of work. If it doesn’t, get more insight into the kind of work you should be doing instead.

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