What to Do When You Have to Fight to Create

“The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, ‘Thus far and no farther’.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

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Do you feel like you’re always fighting everyone and everything to perform your creative work? Are you at the point you’re willing to make some changes to satisfy your passion and calling to create?

Here are suggestions for 7 common battles creative people face. Make a change and create!

1. What do you do when your spouse treats your creative work like a hobby that should come last in your life?

?????????????????????????????????????????????????You graciously and tenaciously:

  • ask that your Christmas, birthday, anniversary, Mother’s/Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day gifts are time, interest, or something that helps with the progress of your creative work.

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2. What do you do when your children always need you when you sit down to work?

You graciously and tenaciously:MP900178844

  • cut out a TV show at night and rise one or two hours earlier than normal and sneak off to your favorite creating place, or
  • set reasonable unavailable times when children are older, and
  • train yourself and your children to honor those times.

 ♣

3. What do you do when gatekeepers between your creative work and your audience toss your work on the reject pile?

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You graciously and tenaciously:

  • package up your creative work and take it to the next gatekeeper, or
  • learn more about your craft, rework it, have it professionally critiqued, and self-market it, or
  • let it go and move on to the next project.

 ♣

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. What do you do when the business-end demands of your creative work drive a stake into your creativity?

You graciously and tenaciously:

  • separate the business and creative parts of your work into two part-time jobs that complement but never cross each other, or
  • hire out all or some of the business end (also see the gifts idea in number 1 to help fund assistants).

 ♣

5. What do you do when food, shelter, and clothes require you to table creative work for unsatisfying work?

You graciously and tenaciously:

  • thank God for the paying work,
  • put away a portion of your pay to fund a shorter workweek, early retirement, a sabbatical, or long vacations dedicated to creative work (also see the gifts idea in number 1 for extra savings),
  • consider getting up earlier than family members to work creatively, and
  • look for ways to use your creativity in your paying work.

 ♣

Couple Working in Homeless Shelter6. What do you do when you work creatively from home and friends, family, church members, and teachers entreat you to volunteer during the day?

You graciously and tenaciously:

  • say no and
  • volunteer on projects in the evenings or on your days off. (For me, through prayer, God guides me on my priorities so I can do this with confidence.)

7. What do you do when you your family and home are neglected because of your creative work?

You graciously and tenaciously:

  • set a reasonable work schedule that works around your precious family,
  • stick to the schedule,
  • give up eating out often or ask that in lieu of gifts you can hire someone to do all or some of your house responsibilities, and
  • consider getting up earlier than family members to work.

What tactics have you used that were effective in your battle to create?

12 thoughts on “What to Do When You Have to Fight to Create

  1. Marcia A. Lahti

    Where creative writing is concerned, conferences, retreats—havens that remove me from perceived responsibilities—help with the battle. Disable the internet and take my laptop to the library for a few hours?

     
     
    1. So true, Marcia. I’m looking forward to our retreat and the ACFW conference!

       
       
  2. These are wonderful tips and definitely an answer to my prayer about time for creative work. Thanks Zoe! ~Keisha

     
     
    1. I’m glad this was helpful, Keisha. I need to read it a few times a day myself!

       
       
  3. This is FABULOUS, Zoe! Needed several of these today. Thanks, my friend!

     
     
    1. Hi Joanne. You’re a motivated person, but I’m pleased this helped spur you.

       
       
  4. davalynnspencer

    I like your “gracious and tenacious.” That’s exactly what I need.

     
     
    1. Davalynn, I often have to stop and remember the “gracious.”

       
       
  5. Hi Zoe –

    When I started working full-time, it was a great blessing but very hard from a time management perspective. I’m now getting up at 5:30 A.M., so I can put an hour into my writing. In the evening, I try to get 1-2 hours at least 3 nights per week.

    The tighter schedule has made me more productive because it’s taken away my tendency to procrastinate. It’s a now or never proposition.

    Blessings,
    Susan 🙂

     
     
    1. It’s true about the tighter schedule, Susan. I stay on track when I have ten to twelve goals scheduled a week that I have reported to my accountability partners.

       
       
  6. Jane Foard Thompson

    This is spurring me to pay attention to what the barriers are, not give in to a nebulous something that keeps me from getting to my creative work. Then, as I identify the areas, I now know to be gracious and tenacious ( love that!). Thanks, Zoe.

     
     
    1. Jane, yes, I think identifying the areas where we’re weak is an important step.

       
       

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