At the beginning of every month I sit down and decide how I’d like to spend my time. I set some goals and create a daily “habit tracker”. I usually set up some sort of health and wellness schedule, and outline the days I want to go adventuring outside for a hike, a bike ride, or overnight camping trip. Lastly, I set some intentions and action steps relating to my writing. This is the area I struggle with the most. If I’m being honest, the first half of this year I spent a quarter of the time I set out for on my writing goals.
I noticed I was blaming my job, my family, my todo list, and my day to day life on why I didn’t have enough time for my creative endeavors. These are the activities that contribute to my big dreams and goals. I realized I was choosing everyone else’s needs- immediate or not- over my own inner desire. I was choosing to distract myself with other tasks. I was frustrated with not having enough time. The truth is, I wasn’t prioritizing enough time for what was important. I was taking the easy way out by choosing to break the promise I made to myself. I was doing the thing I know really well: how to assist and support others. Trying something I’ve never done before? That’s messy. Committing to spending time on my creative work? All bets are off. After all, who knows what the outcome of my creation will be? Will I be proud of what I make? Will others take time to experience my art? Will my project fall apart altogether to the point where I will regret even embarking on the journey?
Here’s the thing, being creative is a practice in vulnerability. There aren’t any guarantees that it will be understood, nor that it will be of benefit to anyone else. What I was forgetting is this: a creation needs to only be understood by the person who created it. It doesn’t need to benefit anyone except for the artist themself. Creating is healing work. It’s a practice in letting go of time. It’s mindfulness: embodied.
When I recall the reason I started this project in the first place, it feels so much more natural to sit down to my pen and paper. I still don’t have it figured out, friends. It continues to be quite a feat to carve out an hour per day. Even in this moment I’m feeling the nagging impulse to check my email, or return the phone calls I missed. But for now, I’m keeping the promises I made. Whenever I feel like I’m about to stand up and walk away, I repeat these words to myself:
“You are worth this time."