Monday, March 30, 2009

finding the time?

So, my dear readers, I need some advice.

I write to you as I sit on my couch, trying to recover from the stomach bug my dear (almost) 1 year old passed along to me. Otherwise, I would be spending her nap cleaning the kitchen, prepping for her birthday party this weekend, editing photographs, attempting to organize my desk, and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. Oh, and I still have my "real" job working part time as an attorney with my own practice. And I'm trying to work out more often and eat healthier. Did I mention I have an intense love affair with coffee?

So here's my questions - where do I find the time to dedicate to more creative pursuits? I know many of you are pulled in many different directions, yet I KNOW you all get your creativity on! In addition to photography, I make journals and photo albums and I would love to learn how to sew, knit, reupholster furniture, etc. Where do I find the time to do any of these things? (It should be noted I'm not a night owl - I could fall asleep at 8pm every night). Should I prioritize my creative pursuits? Should I attempt new things (i.e. sewing class) if I don't have time to really pursue the creative outlets I already know?

PLEASE leave me a comment with some advice - I could really use it!


Brian Crawford March 30, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

My advice: pick one thing and get as good as you can at it. That will bring you more joy than trying to do a lot of creative things mediocrely. For example, as much as I love to play guitar, for the past year I've rarely played, because I've been trying to funnel all my creative energy and time into my priority -- which is writing. That said, I don't know how I'd do it if I had kids... it's hard enough to make time with just work in the way!

Melissa March 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM  

Thanks Brian - I think you make a good point about funneling what time and energy I do have into those creative pursuits I most enjoy. I seem to have a burst of creative energy lately - probably because my "real" job has been slow lately. But I still don't have enough time to pursue all of my interests, and I have plenty to learn about photography.

Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

I heard a quote that has followed me and I often refer back to it:
"When you do everything, you do everything, average".

I have found that my focus has changed in the past few months when I really analyzed and understood that statement. I am not crafting as much as I once did because I don't want to be average at the things crafting, (on a whole) was taking me away from. Does that make sense?

I think it also helped me to remember that there is no sense of urgency. I don't need to master my craft or get every project done tomorrow. I can take my time and cultivate new ideas as they come.

So, I guess my advice would be:
1.) Pick what is most important to you and focus on that.
2.) Don't be overly concerned about time. Your love and passion for your craft will only grow with time and will always be there for learning and creating. (and sometimes, thinking over things for a few weeks or month can give you a more precise idea of your interest level, rather than just jumping into it...).

Hope this helps!

Melissa March 31, 2009 at 6:48 AM  

Thanks Cherry Tree Lane - you definitely echo what Brian said. You're confirming I can't do it all and I need some focus, that way when I do have the time I know what I want to spend my time on.


heidistitches March 31, 2009 at 8:49 AM  

Well, would you like to hear from an "all over the board" type? While cross stitch is my passion and it's "what I do," I've taken the time to learn many skills. I've done calligraphy, tole painting, sewing, crocheting, etc. I don't feel I need to master any one skill. What I enjoy is that I can do any of these to fit my creative outlook at a point in time. Ex: address all my wedding invites using calligraphy. Because it's a skill I learned, I knew what I needed to do AT THAT TIME. Sure you get a little rusty, but what you learned comes right back. 20 years after learning how to do it, I can still turn out some pretty awesome handwriting!

I guess my point is, if there's something you are interested in doing (learning to sew), make the time to learn. It's not like you'll be in classes forever. You'll learn the basic skills which will serve you for years. Hope this helps!

Melissa March 31, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

Thanks for playing devil's advocate Heidi - you did make me think of something I haven't addressed, which is feeling guilty that perhaps there are some creative endeavors I'm just not that into right now and I need to put them aside so I can focus on new ones I'm excited about.

Now if I could just find the time...