Time Scarcity: why you'll always be creative "later"

Two-books-in-progress
Two-books-in-progress

So... What I actually want is to be doing is writing and publishing two new books. Here are their beautiful (to me) covers. I like to make mockups while the books are in process because it makes them seem more real.

I have to make changes on the stepmom book, but that means I'd have to start over.

And I don't like the font on the novel, but as a quick example of much time I've spent on the font, take a look at this ugly mashup. Let's call that about 10-15 hours of "progress."

Save me from myself...
Save me from myself...

Messing with fonts is endlessly thrilling to me (seriously) and time-consuming.  But since I'm not done with the books themselves, fussing with the font is kind of like buying all kinds of "skinny" clothes before I've lost any weight.

So, using my own 3-step process to untangle my lack of writing progress, here's a peek under the hood.

1. TELL YOUR STORY

I've hardly done any writing on those two books in weeks.

Yes, I helped my mother-in-law and stepdaughter move last week and it was a lot of work, even with help from movers. I also had a 4-day migraine that ebbed and flowed and kept me mostly in bed.

My beloved dog, Maya, has cancer and I'm stressing about when I should put her down.

Maya on the carpet. I love her...
Maya on the carpet. I love her...

As always, there's still a bunch of other life details that need to be handled. It's only today that I've felt normal and not so out of sync with a daily rhythm.

2. HEAR FEAR'S LIES

What I've spent my time doing, instead of writing, is reading about how to have a successful blog. How to grow a community. SEO. Mailing lists. Blah-blah-blah.

For some reason, I've been thinking,

  • I really have to get the blog going before I can get back to writing.
  • I also should really clean up my desk.
  • I should take more notes about my goals and what I'm trying to do, so I can feel clearer (echoes of my last post!).
  • I can only WRITE when I feel a certain level of satisfaction and accomplishment with the blog.
  • Before I work on what *I* want to write about, I'd better finish my giveaway, How Fear is Kicking Your Creativity's Ass - Why It Matters / What To Do About It. I'm excited about working on that, but have started to treat it like "work" and a have-to in my head, which now makes me dread finishing it.
  • Which brings me to... I feel out of touch with my two books. It's been months since I worked on the Stepmom book and weeks since I worked on the novel. If they were REALLY going to be good, wouldn't I be chomping at the bit to write and edit them? They must suck then.

And so it goes...

I'm hung up on some stupid, perfect path that doesn't exist.

Sidewalk to the grocery store by my house. Pikazo app on my iPhone, Mona Lisa filter.
Sidewalk to the grocery store by my house. Pikazo app on my iPhone, Mona Lisa filter.

3. FIND SOME FREEDOM

Hell's bells. Remember what it's like to take life one thing at a time?

Is writing and creativity and blogging so all or nothing?

I'm either soaring and focusing and tearing through hours and hours of productivity - or I'm failing?

Life happens. Health flags and then returns.

I'm lucky enough to live with the expectation of many more days, where I get to return, again and again, to a new start.

The days are both long and short.
The days are both long and short.

There is always time, whether it's five minutes to reorganize a messy counter, jot down an idea for a paragraph, or even pick out a new color to wear in your closet -- or an hour to write a blog post and have fun picking out my own pictures for it.

Our lives are full.

If we are blessed, they will stay that way, because that means we're really LIVING.

Don't wait until you have nothing else to do before you choose to add more creativity to your day. And remember to be kind to yourself...

How about you? What's your story? Your fears? Can you find some freedom?

Feel free to share an image that answers any of those questions over on Facebook!