experiments and managing time

The other day, I decided to experiment by drawing directly onto a paperback book page. I’m really happy with the result, and it got me thinking that I might create a series of such drawings in the near future.

It also felt good to be working on a new kind of paper. The paper is heavier, more robust than what I’m used to working on. It was a different drawing experience.

I’ve also started to think that I should experiment with my creative work more generally. I would like to get back into painting again soon. (I haven’t painted in well over a year, perhaps two!)

Unfortunately, at the moment it’s all a question of finding the time. I know there’s the old adage that if you love something enough you’ll find the time. But I really believe that that’s an outdated idea. There are so many people who would love to be doing things but they can’t fit them into their daily or weekly schedules. Life can be hectic and chaotic, and fitting things in can often be impossible. Quite apart from finding the physical time to slot an activity in, you need to find the mental time, the headspace, to allow yourself to get lost in the activity.

I for one can’t simply dip into painting. The paintings I used to do didn’t take very much physical time, but the mental and emotional effort that they took was quite draining. It’s a similar state of affairs with my creative writing. Sure, I can write a few notes or edit a manuscript for half an hour here and there, but to truly create art, to lose myself in the process and allow myself to be immersed, I need an entire morning or afternoon. It isn’t something I can simply do for an hour after work.

I don’t mean to sound as if I feel entitled to have the spare time to do what I love. It would simply be preferable.

If you’re struggling to feel motivated with any sort of creative pursuit, I would recommend giving yourself an entire afternoon or evening to focus on that and only that. Don’t give yourself any particular goals or necessary outcomes, just give yourself the space and time to work. If finding such time isn’t possible (and, as I say, I realise it often isn’t at all possible) then just do what you can. Some time is better than no time at all. Make notes, make sketches, and when the time arises that you can dedicated many hours to being creative, those notes and sketches will come in handy!

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