Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Creative Equation

Reaching into the creative well: full or empty?

Most of us struggle with the same basic artistic challenge: limited time and limited energy.

The creative equation:

Define your 24/7 week.
Subtract your must-dos.
Isolate creative peaks.

Limited Time & Limited Creativity
I have a great, but demanding job as the director of marketing at a private university. It consumes mental energy and requires a commitment of the majority of the hours in my week.

Add to that an amazing husband with whom I want to spend another big chunk of my time.

Then groceries, cleaning etc., etc., etc...

That doesn't leave many pockets of time for creativity. And even when a pocket of time opens up, it doesn't mean I have the creative energy for art. Unfortunately for my art, mornings are my peak high energy time and 5 out of 7 mornings  go to my day job.
This seems to be an impossible equation. So far I've been to trying to better focus the limited time high energy time I have, but more often than not I am finding myself stuck.

I read a simple post on Seth Godin's blog, The best way to get unstuck, that may help me unstick the creatively stuck ideas in my head.

How do you unstick creative blocks?

About the photo:
This jar is part of a project that came together in one of my "creative flow" times. You can read about it here:


  1. To me, it's not just the time that I have to divide up. It's keeping out the distractions and drains on my time and energy. Some of that is others, some of that is ME. When I'm high energy and have ideas it always seems to be when there are other things going on. So I clear off a chunk of time and go to my studio...and...sit there. My mind races a million places and nothing gets done. I hear you completely. At least AEDM is teaching me that I DO have plenty creative ideas. I just struggle with having the energy to tackle and complete them. Sigh. Life is a process, isn't it?

  2. I unstick by just jumping in and not being hung up on having finished work... I grab a moment whenever I can and always keep a sketchbook handy and even a scribbled five minutes helps keep me in touch with my creativity.... I find it helps me keep the habit of it going...xx

  3. Thanks for the insight Tracey and Ginger. I get really caught up in trying to create something perfect in the small amount of time I have. I really need to embrace the fact that creativity is a process.

  4. I feel for you! I'm lucky in that there's no day job anymore. You do really well with it considering that you do have such a sitution. For me, the best way to get something going is to clean my studio. Not from top to bottom - no no no! - but to get the clay table cleaned so I have a "blank canvas", as it were. :) Then I can throw some clay on the table and soon - I'm off and running.

  5. I think you are amazing to juggle all the things in your life as well as you do and with such a sense of joy! I love your statement that you need to embrace the fact that creativity is a process. Sounds very wise.

    I liked Seth Godin's thought, "The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.". Thanks for sharing it.

    When I get stuck it's usually because I'm stressed and need some quiet time. I remember a thought from Robert M. Pirsig's "Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" to the effect that one needs R+R first to get one's "gumption" back. I can't jump directly from playing a high stress concert back into creating something with clay without time out to smell roses and take a quiet walk at sunset.

  6. Great point about R& R and cleaning, Jackie and Anita. There is certainly recharging about a "blank slate" whether it is the mind or the work table!


Ooh,a comment! How delightful.


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