How far are you willing to go for your creativity? What is it worth to you? What would you sacrifice in order to be an artist?
I was asking myself these questions this morning. I had just finished writing a journal entry in the early hours and was thinking about all the projects I’m working on trying to determine how best to manage my time. I’m up at five o’clock every morning – weekends included – but I feel as if I need more time to be creative.
I know that I really need to get up earlier, like four o’clock, in order to gain another hour of creative time each day. It would give me more time to write. For me, mornings are the perfect time for writing. I’m still half-asleep, it’s dark outside, the house is quiet except for the hum of the air conditioner and the bubbling of the aquariums. And the occasional snoring dog.
So I’m willing to sacrifice sleep for my creativity. Which actually isn’t as bad as it may seem. I’m already a bit of an insomniac, so I’m up half the night as it is.
But beyond that, I also sacrifice my free time. I don’t watch much television these days or play video games as much as I used to. I still enjoy those activities and I miss them, but I had to make a choice and decide what was more important to me. It didn’t take long to make a choice.
Why? Because I find creativity to be more fulfilling than sitting in front of the television for three or four hours. Now days, I maybe watch an hour a day. I can still play a video game every so often, but only on weekends and it’s usually when I waiting for my partner to get ready for our lunch date. So maybe an hour or two on Saturday and Sunday.
The rest of my free time goes into writing, podcasting, working on other creative projects, or getting on social media to market myself and encourage others. I feel that last part is important, as well. When I was younger and dreaming of being a writer, I didn’t get much support. In fact, I was discouraged more often than encouraged. It was rough and it bothers me to think there are other up and coming artists who aren’t getting the support or attention they need. So recognizing their efforts is important. Artists have to support one another.
In a broad perspective, my sacrifices may not seem like much. But for me, it makes a difference in my creative output and it makes me happy. The downside is that I don’t get to participate in conversations about the latest episode of some show or talk about how awesome the latest game is…and I’m okay with that.
So what are you willing to sacrifice for your creativity? What have you already given up, or plan to give up, in order to be more productive? Being an artist isn’t always easy, but if it means something to you, you should be willing to change your life to make it happen.