These are terms I hear often from creative professionals trying to gain momentum in their work.
Including me. I have wrestled with these challenges as much as any other creative trying to hone their craft, and make a living around it.
Too often, we ignore the problem.
We let our days be ruled by the needs of others.
Deadlines of others.
Goals of others.
Moods of others.
We say we will address it when we have the time.
Although, managing time part of the problem.
You look around, see everyone busy.
So it seems “normal,” which somehow makes it okay.
I think about the wisdom of those who came before me.
And what their advice was to those who would come after them.
You hear it as a whisper, drowned out by the news of the day, celebrity gossip and status updates.
I read The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, by Bronnie Ware, often.
The number one regret that she witnessed in caring for those in their final moments was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Her explanation is gutting:
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
In working with creative professionals — those whose writing, creating art, crafts, a business, or supporting a cause is central to their work life — I find them trying to battle these challenges in their own ways.
They read articles and books, download apps, and try dozens of other one-off tactics to try to gain control of their creative time and energy.
I hear about this constantly. And I’m doing something about it.
I am preparing something very special that speaks to all of this — a new course that I couldn’t be more excited about. A way to take practical steps to find more momentum in one’s creative work.
I’m also preparing some free resources in the coming weeks that dig into these topics.
In the meantime, I would love to know — what is your biggest challenge in finding time and energy to do more creative work?