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


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.


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?

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?

6 Tips to Control Your Creativity from Taking Over Your Life

“Order and creativity are complementary.”—Lewis Mumford

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hello. My name is Zoe. I’m a creativity junky. If you’re like me, your creative musings and your compulsive desire to create threaten your sleep, your family and spiritual living, your house cleaning, and your other responsibilities.

Know that once a creativity junky, always a creativity junky. But try theses 6 tips that have helped me know when to free my imagination to fly and when to rein it in.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Treat your writing, painting, and presentation preparations like an outside-the-home job. Since I retired, I’m a full-time writer. On weekdays, I rise at 5 AM and start my day in Bible study and intercessory prayer, which prepares me for a good day. Around 9 AM after breakfast with my husband and some cleanup, I climb the steps to my office. I take care of non-creative tasks, then unleash my creativity to work on stories, blogs, and ministries. Ahhh.

My writing day formally ends at 6 PM. But remember, I’m a creativity junky, so I need more help than a defined time to create.

Pad of Paper & Pen2. Carry with you something to write on at all times. Creative ideas pop into my head while I’m praying, eating, working around the house, and even while I’m dreaming. Of course, I want to pursue the idea NOW. I can often control that urge by writing the idea down on my notebook or iPad. In effect, it’s scheduled, and I can relax.

I’d recommend having only a desktop computer so it isn’t convenient to whip out your MacBook Air and pursue a fascinating idea. But that’s too extreme. After all, some of the impulsive behavior is the nature of an artistic, right?

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Avoid activities at bedtime that tempt your creativity. I’m learning it’s dangerous to work on a scene or blog sitting in bed. When the lights go out, I know I’ll rework the content in my mind for hours. So to protect my sleep and keep the ideas from streaming, I read a little of a book that’s interesting but not a page-turner. Or I play a boring solitaire game on my iPad.

Watering flowers4. Plan moments throughout your day to re-ground you in non-creative living. For me, God is my guide, my counselor, and my Lord. Sometimes, I get wrapped up in my creative work and forget that. So I schedule another few moments with the Lord in a devotional after lunch.

Ahead of time, I plan home tasks, preferably with exercise, to be accomplished when I take breaks.

Canoeing5. Train a habit of keeping certain days for spending time with family and doing things other than creative work. This tip is the most difficult for me. First, it’s hard to shut down the creative frenzy for long periods. And second, when life responsibilities take away an afternoon or day from my creative workweek, I need to make up the time. However, I’m working on the habit of taking off Wednesday afternoons and weekends. BUT, if my husband watches sports on TV, out comes my MacBook Air.

pond6. Do creative activities with others. My husband and I have worked together to design a house, create a garden pond, and plan creative activities for Sunday school children. My creative nature loves and feeds on such times with my husband. And, I enjoy playing make-believe with my grandchildren.


What has worked for you to prevent your creative work from taking over your life?

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