Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Does Your Practical Life Take Over Your Creative Life?

Most of us are forced to deal with practical matters of life - a day job, which has no room for creativity, family to look after, home to care for, errands to run, social life to keep - you may have any or even more than these issues that seem to fill your days, and sometimes you barely know when one day ends and another begins.

Life begins to feel like an endless parade of time that is outside your control. At the end of the day, when you drop on bed with exhaustion or sit in front of the TV because you have no energy for anything else, pursuing your creativity might be the last thing on your mind.

Do you put it off till tomorrow? Perhaps till the weekend? Or till you go on holiday? Or even until the retirement?

Annie Dillard - a woman with extraordinary talent for words said, "How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our life."

Okay, that does not mean that you give up all your responsibilities, send the kids to foster care, and go off in Himalayn valley to pursue your creativity.  No, what that means is that give your creativity the same importance as you do all the other things in your life. If you are an organised person, who makes to-do lists, regularly schedule time for creative pursuits.

On my lists, journaling is a scheduled activity. I may write 10 pages if I have time, or I might write 5 lines if I am in a hurry, but putting it on the list tells me that it is just as important as writing or editing my book, or all the other millions of things I need to do.

On occassions when I left Journaling off my goals list, thinking I will get to it if I have time, it always got neglected, because there never was a time. Or I would do it at the sacrifice of my other goals, and then feel guilty for not meeting those goals. So now I schedule it.

Why is it important?

Understanding self, measuring the progress of who we are, where we are going in life, and whether we are going where we want to, is a life time process. Recording one's life is a life time process. To neglect it, for me, is to neglect myself. Most of us - even those without any immense truama in their lives - have great many suppressed emotions and/or memories. We do that for different reasons, and how much depends on the personality. But our creative pursuits - whether it's journaling, painting, dancing or anything else - it frees our self. Here, we are not following any guideline. Here, we are not doing what the boss told us to do. Here, we are just picking up a pen or a brush or dancing shoes, and let the inner-self take over. We are taking the time to connect with ourselves.

How could that not be a priority?

So make time for your creativity. Whether it is 10 minutes a day, or an hour every week, give it an important place in your schedule, and you will be giving importance to your inner-self - that one that might be not be visible all the time, but it is what makes you who you are, and has the power to turn you into who you want to be.

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