Sometimes my Morning Pages look like a long-form ledger. I write about money and work my way through calculations as I think about what I need to be financially comfortable as a creative. I also dream up what these numbers will mean for the rest of my life. How they will change my environment, my wardrobe, and the way I move through the world. Writing about future things gives my brain a break from figuring out the nitty-gritty-in-the-moment stuff of today.
For the longest time, I didn’t let myself imagine a future where I had enough money to nurture my creative work, take care of myself, and save for the unexpected. Even in my head, it felt too indulgent. What’s more, I was a newly minted yoga teacher in the early years of my creative practice. So I was focused on being present and non-attached as the appropriated and commodified teachings that were passed on to me instructed.
It would take me the better part of a decade to realize that writing about the life and identity I was trying to live into was essential to my creative wellbeing. As creatives, we have no map to show us the way forward. Instead, we get to create our path as we see fit. It’s a lifetime of choose-your-own-adventure that permeates our personal and professional lives. And fortunately for us, we have all the tools we need to make these future things feel real.
As creatives, we have the ability to create something from nothing. We do it every day in our art. We think about something we’d like to exist in the world and then we go about making it. There’s no reason this capability can’t be applied to literally every other part of our life. And when we do apply it, we give ourselves a way of checking that we’re on the right track. It’s a self-made filter that helps us move through the muchness of the infinite possibilities that are available to us.
Imagining the next iterations of your creative work and your bank account helps you make decisions today that will serve you tomorrow. It also gives you hope. While relying on inspiration to make the work that matters to you is unsustainable long-term, it is an effective way to give yourself a boost; to keep yourself committed to seeing your creative projects through to the end. Before the money is there. Before the people who matter know who you are.
So in whatever medium feels right for you, make it a priority to articulate the future things you’re longing for. Let yourself find comfort and motivation in what you’re working towards. And if those future things change, they change. You’re drawing your map as you go so it only makes sense that you can only see so far. Even still, drawing the map matters if it keeps you committed to doing the creative work our world so desperately needs.
So, what future things are you working towards today?