I have just moved from one of the most structured professions in the world to the least amount of structure I could possible have in my workday. I’m a mess! My A-type isn’t quite sure what to do with herself, which means sometimes I’m wandering about the villa (that what we call houses in the Middle East) aimlessly, jumping from task to task, because I feel I have so much to do and I’m not sure how to get it all done!
I have written several times about the importance of creative habits and structure. I’m not sure I need to go as rigid as school bells and class periods (yup, remember teachers know their whole schedule a YEAR in advance…. We know when we have holidays, when we have PD days… it is all laid out), but I would like some order to my life to help me achieve more of my creative goals with better pace.
Some structure I plan to build into my creative life includes (please, take what will help you!):
(1) Have a concrete, visual planning space.
I plan to have a wall or board of some kind in my studio where I lay out every project that is anxious to be developed in my brain. I have so many ideas and they flit about like nervous birds. Having them in one space will remind me of the different projects I want to work on, and obviously finish someday! I’m also placing near this space the personal goals I have this year: mindfulness, health, abundance and authenticity. (I got this from watching Danielle LaPort talk about staying focused on the big picture). I want to cultivate these things in my life, thus, I want to be reminded of it everyday! It will help me as I make all of my decisions, large and small.
(2) I’m committing to 1500 words every workday for my writing.
This minimum may be large, or small, I’m not really sure. I got thinking about this number because of the NaNaWriMo and an article a friend of mine wrote about his desire to get writing. Then I also read in an article by Srinivas Rao. It mentioned the change in the quality of his writing and his general output when he committed to writing every workday then to every day a certain number of words (side note: I love that he has done an exercise where he drew for 30 days!). Some days crap may just pour out of me, but then again, I don’t have to show my readers that. And hell, maybe my revision of ArtSPEAK and the new ebook I have outlined will get finished sooner than later!
(3) Make art every workday.
It may only be 30 minutes or an hour. But that is my minimum. I need to make more art and so many project ideas I have are not written but are paintings or other art forms waiting to be explored. This and number 2 are my most important commitments. I’m really hoping to have 2-4 hours a day on making art. It depends on how long my 1500 words takes me! 🙂 As time progresses and this becomes easier, I may increase the number of words I expect of myself, but this feels like a solid start.
Yes. I need to exercise. When I feel frustrated or stuck, it is a great way to help me clear my mind. It also allows me my excessive amounts of chocolate chip cookies in my diet. (No joke, I now have to bake only 6-12 at a time to encourage some level of self-control. It’s working. Kind of.) I can work through ideas in my head or just clear my mind and think about something else; both actions can help me inform my creative work.
(5) Social Media and Networking.
These need time and commitment almost everyday. If I’m not Tweeting then I’ll be Pinning or working on my email courses I plan to create. How else will my art or blog be promoted!? And I want to continue to connect with likeminded creatives interesting in sharing creative success and talking about the arts.
When I was outlining this structure of my day the phrase, Keep it Simple, kept popping into my head. This is it. I’m not going to tell myself the order of operations, this isn’t a math problem where multiplication has to come before division (I think that’s correct). I’m going to honor my energy levels and decide on the kind of exercise I want when it’s time and I know I need a break from my creative energies. I’m wanting to develop all this, my writing and art, to be more profitable rather than just my hobby and doing these tasks will help me best reach it. There is a lot more that probably should be considered, but if I get too messy it will all just feel complicated and restricting. I’m not in a classroom anymore, so why put in a bell system?!
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What commitments can you make in your schedule to help achieve creative goals and dreams?
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