A few days ago, my creative soul twin and I got together to get to work on the show that we’re co-writing. She made a delicious salad and we sat on the floor of her office and mapped out the story we want to tell. We wrote characters and locations and themes on cue cards. We talked about the opening sequence video that we want to create to accompany the pilot. We read each other’s writing and imagined out loud what this process will be like.
While our plans for the day quickly became nonlinear, we were making time for this work. We affirmed on numerous occasions that as long as we showed up and did our best, our project would move forward. This is a philosophy that I have applied to most things in my life. From other creative projects to debt repayment to walking 1,600 km across half of New Zealand. I made time, did my best, and the rest took care of itself.
Of course, making time to create is not as sexy as waiting for the spark of inspiration to hit. Nor does it fire the gratification neurons in our brains. Making time can feel nourishing and it can also feel slow and difficult. We can spend days, months, and years chipping away at work with no promise that it will become something that we get to share. Faced with this daunting prospect, we shy away from creating the work our world so desperately needs.
I was first introduced to the concept of making time to make art through the work of Julia Cameron. She talks about it in many of her books and it took me years to appreciate the wisdom in her words. In my younger years as a creative, I didn’t think I had time to make the art I truly wanted to make. I was too busy making money. What’s more, making time to create felt indulgent and like something I had not earned.
This was before I understood the capitalist narrative that was fuelling my money fear. It was before I could separate my value as a human and artist from the numbers in my bank account. It was before I learned about financial wellbeing and got into a healthier relationship with money. In those early years, I felt like I was racing against the clock in my creative practice. While I made some interesting work, it came at a high cost.
Now, I make time to create the art that matters to me. Not because I have finally paid off all my debts or am completely sorted financially but because it’s a priority. I know that if I don’t make time, I will wake up one day with no more time to do the creative work I want to do. That terrifies me. I do not want to look back on my life when I am older with regret because I didn’t create the art I wanted to make. So I am making the time now.
What’s in the way of you making time to create your art?