Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's In Your Hands (Creating a Creative Practice)

"it's in your hands"

This coming September, when my kids are both in school full time, I am planning to take my creative career more fully in hand.

Truth be told, I've taken a bit of a hiatus.

I've had kid duties and work duties and household duties, and many of my creative duties have fallen by the way side. 

I am looking forward to re-committing to being a serious artist and writer, not just in the off hours when I'm not too exhausted from my long day, or while the kids are playing outside, before they come back in to ask for my attention in 15 minutes.

I'll still be working, and I'll still be taking care of my kids, but there will be more time to focus without distraction or multi tasking or kids every where. I'll be able to focus on my own personal work for at least a couple of hours a day, and for the whole day twice a week! It seems like such a luxury to me now, after all my years of raising infants/babies/toddlers/preschoolers. I am hoping that those years will have taught me how valuable my time is now, and that I shouldn't waste it.

And I'm going to do it.

It's only a few weeks away, but I am starting my process of organizing and planning and psyching myself up and getting the ideas flowing.

I've learned that it helps to psych yourself up before you even start, to plan and set goals for yourself. Like with Nanowrimo. If I think about it months before, I can start dreaming of my story and characters and plots. Then I can do an outline. And I can schedule in work times and write out logs and graphs to keep track of my work.

Really, I should learn from myself and write out my graphs and log books and such. I have plans for reorganizing and prettifying my "studio" which is really more like part of the kitchen, but has turned out to be a good place for me to work in the past, at least part of the time. 

The truth is that being creative is a lot more work than it seems sometimes, because so much goes on under the surface, before creativity happens, while you're staring out the window or in your psyche every minute of the day, even while you're doing other things. 

It often takes more preparation and planning than one would suspect. I often have to almost "go into training"  as I build up my work habits and practice my craft and coax the ideas into being. 

 In one way, this is comforting to me.

Even though I don't feel all that creative right now (particularly after burning out a bit with the craft intensive Harry Potter birthday party) I know that if I take my baby steps, I will soon be ready to get that creative engine going.

In another way, it's kind of exhausting, because I know how much work I have to do and how much I am going to have to commit to the work.

But then, that's exciting too, the idea of being able to commit real time and energy to work after so many years of naptime writing and painting while the kids are watching tv and being satisfied with arts and crafts instead of the larger projects that have been calling to me for the last few years (which I have been putting off.)

I drew this journal entry to remind myself of the work it takes to take your life into your own hands. It often doesn't seem like I am getting anywhere while I am in the middle of the small actions, but when I look back on it, I can see how far I've come and how much I've done.

It reminds me that I have the power to create things, to make life the way I want it, if I am only willing to do the work, commit to the end product, and trust the process.

Oh yes, that trust of the process. It can be very difficult, but it makes a big difference.

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