Stifled, blocked, overwhelmed, cannot focus, stagnation, these are some terms or phrases used by writers or artists of all sorts.
Many things can interfere with our productivity in our creative ventures. Some common things are stress in life and anxiety. Just a lack of control could rob us of focus. Living within our means, and not overextending ourselves socially can help us to regain some of the control. I love the July “Awake” magazine on Control. It gives some excellent points on regaining some control of our life. Find it at jw.org
What I would like to address is something I have been all too slow to learn. I have missed out on the benefits of this great quality because I was what you call a free spirit. For decades I lived with the free as the wind mentality of creativity. I lost a lot of years that way. It cost me a lot in all aspects of life. First, I never had a healthy self esteem. In fact, caring for myself I just did the basics, in some ways I was extremely neglectful. This was such a wreck less way of living that goes with this creative mentality. In fact, a friend asked me on the phone a few months ago, “Are you still a train wreck?” I did not quite know what he meant, and it did not feel so good to consider that I may have been viewed that way. Some would say, “Oh, that is the artist in her.” I was impetuous, creative, easily moved.
I drew up some construction documents for an artist and her husband, she had designed her own home, when I went by for a visit, I was surprised at how beautifully organized she was. Her studio was immaculate, I asked her about it, and she said “I am a productive artist and I get big dollars for my work. I have to be organized.” That left a heavy impression on me. It has still taken decades to understand and put it into practice. Oh, the years I have lost.
A friend of mine is very productive publishing poems, books, and painting landscapes. Every Tuesday like clockwork she is painting another picture. Diane adopted three children with handicaps. Her home is tidy and clean.
Here I have been a free spirit and what do I have to show for it? A lot of creativity that was never realized. Dreaming the years away. Many projects never started and more projects still not finished. For the projects I have finished I am very proud of them. Over the years I have gotten into a pattern of actually finishing things. Yet, I have so much more to finish.
What I have learned, that is the most valuable thing I could ever impart is the necessity of having a schedule, having a routine and good habits. If my workroom is unorganized, how will I feel motivated to go in there and get a project made. Some may tout about how they do not mind a messy workplace, but it does not look good to others, and it does interfere with productivity. My workroom is untidy again and it happens so fast. I enjoy working in there putting things away. I feel free to do more when I can see my measuring tape where I always put it, when I can grab the scissors from the drawer, and a space is clear in which to work.
The whole house is important, keeping the refrigerator clean and well stocked, so we can keep ourselves healthy and strong. By keeping the bathrooms clean and laundry done these are all things related to caring for ourselves respectfully. How can I have self respect, or expect respect if I am not living respectfully?
My home is still in great disarray. Yet, I work hard to obey my daily schedule, yesterday was clean the bedrooms day, and all I could do was some dusting. I have this double hernia I am getting operated on next week. I have absolutely no stamina and I hurt. It felt good doing the little I did do. The day before was clean the bathrooms and utility room. I got one bathroom cleaned well and a load of towels washed. I could not do the other bathroom. Just making the practice of good habits and carrying on the routine gives me courage and hope that it will reflect well in the coming months ahead.
The benefits I am now seeing is that by practicing a domestic schedule I am freed up to be more creative. And by doing the schedule I am earning a bit of esteem that I am accomplishing more. This fuels my creativity. I find I am starting and finishing more like this blog, and other small projects I have around.
Habits and routines are essential for the creative person whom wants to enjoy the fullest satisfaction with a greater productivity.
Quit dreaming and start producing, this is the Art of Living. The most important thing I have learned is that being an artist, I have to make the room in my schedule and make it a routine being creative. I cannot afford to be haphazard with something so valuable. It has become more purposeful and truly delightful.