I often find myself slightly overwhelmed by creative projects. I know, nice problem to have, right? But no I’m not complaining. Just trying trying to figure out my balancing act.
Unfortunately, my creativity doesn’t necessarily pay the bills, so I have to work a full-time desk job. That means I have to schedule time to work on projects while still having a life. I’m sure that many creators feel the same way.
So how do we figure out when to do what? In between working on various fiction projects, blogging, updating my journal, maintaining my social media accounts, podcasting, and working on cooking videos, I don’t seem to have much time to simply relax. You know, sit back and watch some mindless programs on TV, or read one of the books stacked next to my bed, or play with my dogs, or spend time with my partner.
There’s always something to do, isn’t there? I guess it part of being an adult. I think we take that for granted when we’re younger. We have all this free time, very little responsibility, and we simply don’t appreciate it. Then we grow up, we have relationships, jobs, kids, chores…and we begin to realize that we don’t have the time to do all the things we want to do.
I’m envious of the people who have all that free time, who get to work on whatever they want whenever they want. But not in a malicious way. I don’t begrudge their luck…just wish they could share a little bit of it with me.
Sure, it would be easier to simply focus on just one thing – like writing – and forget about the other creative outlets. It would free up so much time for me, give me some breathing room, let me simply sit back and relax. I wouldn’t feel quite so stressed about my self-imposed deadlines, constantly thinking about the next project.
However, I also wouldn’t be as happy. Strange, right? The thing is, creativity is fun. If I have a tough day at the office, I know I can come home to a couple of slobbering mutts and spend a couple of hours writing, or sketching, or making music. Creativity is a pressure valve. It distracts my mind, or in some cases, allows me to vent. Either way, I end up feeling better afterwards.
Truth be told, I don’t think there’s any reasonable way to balance everything in my life. Chaos is commonplace. But it’s a good kind of chaos…there’s little drama, no fighting. I leave the bad mojo at the door when I come home (the dogs won’t allow it in the house) and any residual tension gets wiped away once I lose myself in one of the many creative projects I have in play.
And yeah, I know that I could create an actual schedule, set up slots of time for this project, followed by X amount of time for that project. Boring. Where’s the fun in that? Too much structure ruins creativity, right?
When it comes down to it, I need the spontaneity of a slightly chaotic life. I need a little bit of pressure to motivate me. I need to always have another project to work on. It keeps my mind occupied, keeps my hands busy, and most of the time, I find it far more entertaining than watching TV.