83 - Making The Time

Hello and welcome to the 83rd episode of The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get the inspiration you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.

I’m your host Tucker and this week is insight and inspiration and we’re going to be talking about making the time for your creative projects. 

This week’s topic again comes from the anonymous one-question pop-up survey on TheSparkAndTheArt.com. The survey question is “What is the biggest challenge in your creative work?” and the answer someone from the U.S. gave was a simple three words “Making the time."

This is one I hear quite often and I talk about it a bit in my ebook The Three Most Difficult Simple Things you can find it at TheSparkAndTheArt.com/ebook and it only costs one email address. First let’s talk about the making part of Making The Time. You can’t actually make time. Time just happens and you sort of bob around in it. The only thing you can do is choose what to work on while you’re bobbing around. This choosing is the hardest part because it basically comes down to choosing between doing things for yourself and doing things for others. 

No one wants to be considered the selfish, self-centred, ego maniac with no regard for others' feelings. We all want to be the person who people like and are known for doing a good job and being helpful. These are all great things. These are things that makes good citizens and great friends. But … if you give all of yourself to others you wind up resenting that giving. The only way to have something to give is to build it within yourself. You have to give time to yourself in order to be able to give time to others. This is difficult and necessary.  

Do you need a couple hours on the weekend to take your camera out and take pictures of birds? Do you need to go to an open stage and perform your songs a couple times a month? Do you need time to just write your book? The answer to all these things is yes. Actually the answer to all these things is Hell Yes. But what keeps us from doing it? For a lot of us creative folks it’s not the fact that we’ll be taking time for ourselves it’s that we will be taking time away from others. It’s time away from husbands and wives. It’s time away from kids.

For some it’s time away from work. Whether you work for someone else or you own your own job taking time away from what earns money can feel like you aren’t getting that value out of your time. Time is money after all. But trading time for money is like trading time to make others happy. If that’s what you focus on eventually you won’t have anything to give and the money will feel empty and won’t have the same value it had before you wore down. 

In order to make time for your projects you have to choose yourself. You have to schedule and commit to a certain time each day or each week to do the things you need to do move your projects forward. By moving your projects forward you move your talent forward. By moving your talent forward you learn more about yourself. By learning more about yourself you have more to give to those you are feeling guilty about leaving alone while you take that time for yourself.

Lastly, by taking that time for yourself you are giving that time to others to work on their own stuff. Once you have a few projects under your belt and your talents are beginning to mature people will be inspired and intrigued and start to choose their projects or even collaborate with you on yours. 

Here’s where you get to do some thinking

  • What is it you want to do? (That thing that just jumped to mind is probably what you should start with)
  • What kind of time do you need to do it? 
  • When do you have that time? Morning? Evening? Lunch hours?
  • (This is a really hard one) What are you currently doing that you could say ‘no’ to to give yourself the time you need for you?
    It may disappoint someone and it’s gonna be hard but there is probably something.

Do you know someone who could use a little reminder to take some time for themselves? It would be great if you could share this episode with them. The easiest way is to send the short url TheSparkAndTheArt.com/82

Thanks too for all the great feedback you’ve been sharing via twitter @SparkArtPodcast and email I really appreciate it and it’s going to make the show better in the future. I had some great feedback from Michelle, @mj_flowergirl on twitter, saying she’d like some more female guests. I did a calculation and found that so far 20% of my guests have been women. It certainly wasn’t on purpose it just sort of turned out that way. I made a list of the women who I couldn’t get on the show previously and those I’ve had in mind for a while and the plan is to have a 50/50 split in men to women guests next year. (This episode is going up on Jan. 1 2015. Happy New Year!) Thanks Michelle I’m sure you’ll enjoy who I have on my guest list. Assuming I don’t bore you and you stop listening before I talk to them. 

So to Michelle and everyone whose listens to my little creativity podcast I say - Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.