Making Time for Creativity--Growing Gills work through
(I was wondering if you wanted us to respond to the chapter since there weren't any exercises.) Like you, I'm trying to focus on just one project this winter/spring. I'm doing "Story Prompt" illustrations for my five year old niece, sending her an illustration each month for her to use as a jumping off point for writing a story with her Mom. I tend to get distracted by wanting to constantly learn new things and try new techniques but I've managed to stay focused enough to turn out a completed illustration a month for the last four months. I'd like to produce a total of ten pictures but we'll see!
If anyone is curious, Jessica Abel (who wrote the book) was interviewed for this podcast which just released today:
Susan Marks last edited by
@Sarah-LuAnn thanks for the tip-I've been listening to older interviews of her and I've become a bit of a fan-girl. I'm half-way through her "Out on a Wire" podcast series she did a few years ago. If folks are looking for tips on writing stories and narrative pacing, check it out.
I actually haven’t listened to the Out on the Wire podcast, but I did read the book. It was great! Lots of great suggestions on both storytelling and working through big scary projects. I haven’t read any of her others yet though. With two toddlers right now, my reading time is severely limited. Someday!
@demotlj @Sarah-LuAnn This chapter was a real eyeopener for me. I'm always working on too many different things. I always have a drawing in colored pencil or graphite on my drawing board that I'm working on (mind you, I always finish them before I start a new one, so I thought I was doing really wel...), I have several tutorials or online courses that I'm following (focused on different aspects of digital art), and unlike my traditional art, I have several unfinished digital projects waiting for completion.
So, I've decided I'm dropping all online courses and will only focus on my SVS-courses... and one at the time.
So this exercise was interesting... it was something that I had been kind of thinking about anyway, maybe partly because of what the book was saying up to this point, but also because of things that have been going on in my life and my family recently.
So I didn't assign a dollar value to my time, but I did know one thing in particular that I had been spending more time on than I wanted to. I volunteer helping organize a get-together for the women at my church once a month, and it doesn't take a ton of time, but it takes more than you might expect. There are several women who help me who have made clear they are willing and able to do more. I've decided that what I will do next time we meet his assign each of them a month, and have them be in charge of most of the organizing/delegation for the activity that month, and I'll just be there to support and do any needed tasks. So things still get organized, but without quite as much time from me.
I don't really do much other extra/volunteering stuff that I'm willing to give up because... toddlers. There are a few other things, most of them only once a month, but they're important and I don't want to give up that time. For example, this month my husband and I are (finally!) going to start a DnD campaign with some new friends (well, I hope they'll be friends) of ours, and that doubles as a date and social life, as well as story inspiration I guess. Book Group is important to me, because, well, BOOKS. I love #kidlitart chat, which is one hour a week (and I do miss some of it on weeks when they topic or conversation just isn't as interesting to me.)
So, while I'm keeping all these things, its nice to be able to say that it is deliberate, not default. They are all that important to me, my life, and my work.
What about you all?
I found the chapter interesting because I'm coming at it from the other side -- I'm the one always trying to get people to volunteer their time for various church needs and am increasingly aware of how overcommitted people are and increasingly feeling guilty about having to ask for one more thing from them. I have not yet figured out how to balance respecting people's need for time to nurture their own interests and spend time with their family, and my church's need (and the need of communities in general) for volunteers. This chapter describes not only our personal struggles but our societal struggle right now as people's time is more and more fragmented, and demands on families' time is much greater than it used to be. There is no single cause for that (and I've read a lot about it lately) which also means there is no single solution. I think the book's advice on setting a dollar sign on your time is helpful not only personally but might be helpful for the organizations asking for people's time, making sure that the stuff we ask people to volunteer for is actually important to do and not something we are doing because "that's what we've always done."
Thats an interesting angle to come at it from. I can see how that would be useful from both ends.
I haven't made it through chapter 8 yet BECAUSE.... as stated above, I've already chosen my One Goal and I have been hard at work on it, and I am nearly done. So.... that counts for something, right? I do want to look a little deeper into each category outlined in the exercise as I finish this project and choose the next one, though.
So the next exercise is to choose your tool. I've chosen a Sketchbook/Bullet Journal. I've been keeping one since the beginning of the year and I like how it can be whatever I want it to be.
The only problem is... in the last few days, I lost mine. It was a crazy week, with the whole family being sick and needing to finish my dummy for the WIP awards for SCBWI and... it disappeared? So either within the next week I'm going to locate it OR start fresh in a new sketchbook--one a little smaller that will fit in my purse better, and therefore probably be less likely to get lost ;-).
In the meantime, I'll be using loose papers and a spreadsheet to make my plains for my next One Project which is sending my first batch of queries.
I really appreciated her comment that you shouldn't spend more than 1/2 hour testing different "tools" because that's my weakness. I love messing with organizational apps and devising organizational systems and then once I've got them all set up, I ignore them! I've been better lately at sticking to two tools: I use Wunderlist -- a to-do app -- for all of my work stuff and I've been using Good Notes for my art projects because I can also draw in Good notes and throw sketches in there as I develop ideas. Good Notes is pretty much like a virtual notebook so it feels low tech even though it's an app. I like using apps because they work across all of my devices so I can "brain dump" whenever I think of something I need to add. I wish I had had them when my kids were young because I have a terrible memory and keeping track of their lives as well as mine drove me to distraction.
I also deliberately use two different tools for work and art even though she says to use only one because I want to feel like I'm at work when I'm at work and be in a different mental place when I'm doing my art. Switching tools helps me switch gears.