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Are you stifling your creativity?

Being a mom is draining sometimes.  Throw in trying to write or have a career of any kind and it’s down right exhausting.  I’ve been blessed with the gift of being a stay at home mom.  A job all in itself, I assure you.  But I often wonder how on earth those of you who have a job outside of the home actually pull it off and stay sane at the same time.  I am in awe to say the least.

Whether you have kids or not, there are tasks that must be done daily to keep a household running.  The laundry alone will keep you busy 24 hours a day. LOL

So why the heck do I find it so daunting to carve out those hours I could be at work and use them for some really productive writing time?  I’ve heard about so many people writing on their lunch hours or the few minutes they have for break going on to publish the book they were working on.   These success stories prove how silly my excuses truly are.  The desire is there.  The resources are there.  The only thing missing is my bottom in the chair.

We had a wonderful lady come and speak at our local RWA chapter at the first of the month.  Kathryn Lorenzen is a creativity coach and her workshop “Spring Cleaning for Your Creative Life” was inspiring.  It’s okay to multitask with things such as the laundry, loading the dishes, folding clothes, you know the things we do that we don’t have to really think about.  Although  too much going on at one time with all of this will have you going in circles as well.  At least this has been my experience.  But when it comes to creativity, even minor multitasking makes us less productive, stressed, forgetful (a major one in my book) and irritable just to name a few.  You can check all the above off for me.

I need to slow down, take time to breathe and plan some fun time in my life to do things I love besides the writing.  Take in a show, go for a walk, read a great book just for the fun of it, something that brings me joy and helps me relax.  When we try to do more than one creative project at a time, we aren’t giving any one thing our full attention.  In a sense we are cheating our self out of our full potential.  I’m working on a synopsis right now on top of a query and still trying to polish up pages.  I feel like a yo-yo.  Back and forth.  Stop and go.  I’m hitting a brick wall on everything.

This week is going to be different.  I’m picking one thing.  Working on it till I get it right before moving on.  No T.V during the day. I’m turning off the phone.  (Well, I’ll keep my cell close in case one of the kids has an emergency.)  I will not answer the door. (So don’t even try! LOL)  Before the first kid is due home from school, I plan to have some major work done.

Oh, yeah.  And breathing deep was another of Kathryn’s great suggestions.  We all breathe.  But taking 5 to 10 minutes to sit quietly and really breathe deep is already working wonders in my life.  So I’ll be doing lots of that too.

Great quote from the workshop:


Are you a creative multi-tasker?   Does it work for you?


8 Responses

  1. Such good advice! I, too, struggle with balance in my creative life. Case in point, I got he kids off this morning, put a load of laundry in, checked my email, about to head off to pay my husband’s employees and then meet a friend at Starbucks for writing sprints. Whew! I’m tired saying all that.

    But here’s the other thing. Sometimes I can’t wait on my creativity to get off it’s butt and get in the right place. Sometimes I have to write whether I want to or not. I told myself this is my job. Gotta treat it as such, and just like every job on the face of the planet, sometimes you want to be doing anything but the job. But if I want my career to flourish, I have to do the work. And, man, ain’t it work sometimes?

    Good luck on the synopsis and query. I hate those things.

  2. You are so right, multi-tasking can affect the outcome of a project. I took on two projects that I really didn’t have time for and the results are showing. Although one of the projects is a team effort and is delaying alot of my actions. I heard a preacher talk about the same thing about a couple of months ago. One day I’ll get it right, I hope.

    Missy, I hope you’re not this week’s Publishing House Million dollar winner, since you’re not answering your door.

  3. my weekends are my recharging point and the past few have really thrown me for a loop with the stuff going on. got a couple more busy weekends ahead of me and I’m trying to push through them to get back in my happy place 🙂

  4. Thanks,Liz! Why does balance sound like such an easy word? LOL Starbucks, friend and writing sprints, now that is my idea of productive! 🙂 And you are so right, if you want your dreams to come true, you “Have to do the Work!”

  5. Good luck with both your projects, Terri! And thanks for making me rethink the not answering the door!! LOL

  6. Keri, hope you get back to your happy place soon! I’ve had a few weekends of my own like that. Why does it seem that everything has to happen at once. It would be so cool if we could spread things out sometimes.

  7. Taking 5-10 minute break works for me, too. I’m not a great multi-taster, but I do manage to get some things done.

  8. I’m with Keri on things really throwing me for a loop. I was in a good routine for awhile, but I was thrown off by a rough week. Like that quote said, Melissa, “focus is power.” I am having to do a lot of focusing right now, but it’s really hard because of all the drastic changes taking place in my life. However, I know things will settle down eventually.

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