Maybe a tragedy shakes our lives. Maybe a busy season hits (think non-stop social obligations, kind of like the holiday season). Or maybe work gets overwhelming for a while.
Whatever the reason, at some point many of us face overwhelm and can’t fit everything into our days that we would like to. Obviously we can’t sacrifice our main income source (which for most of us is our daily job), and we don’t want to give up time with our loved ones.
So what’s naturally the first to go? Our passions; our side hustle; our dreams.
Through the stress and busy times, we ditch our passions in the name of sacrifice. Oh we promise ourselves that we’ll get back to it, but then before we know it, weeks, months, or even years have gone by.
Don’t let this be you—especially if you want to do something meaningful with your creativity. To me, getting my books to a successful point means I can stay home with my future kids. If I’m really ardent about it, I hope to give my husband the chance to stay home as well. I can picture lovely days of spending time with my kids and running out to their dad’s workshop to see what magnificent wooden creations he crafted that day.
A busy season in life has just passed me by, and it sucks to admit that I let my creativity get completely derailed.
I write this with the intention of helping you not do the same thing!
When you’re going through a busy spell in your life, make sure you’re still making time to fulfill your creative outlet throughout the week—even if it’s just 15 minutes here and there. We creatives need creativity in our life; it helps keep us sane.
So before you ditch your beloved passion in the name of sacrifice, keep in mind these three things:
Your family, coworkers, and everyone else around you need you to get your creativity out.
Yes, it’s true. You’re not doing them any favors by bottling up the best part of you until you feel like you’re going to explode. When I took my brief hiatus from writing, I became more irritable, stressed, and unhappy. Do you really think your family wants that version of you? Spoiler alert: the answer is no! Do us all a favor and make sure you get in your creative time. For people like us, it helps us recharge and is vital to keeping us fully functional.
You’ll regret it.
If you decide to put your dreams aside for a bit, something will inevitably remind you of them. Like the sting of an ex coming to mind, the memory will both hurt and haunt you. You’ll long to have that time back, and when you finally do obtain it, you’ll kick yourself for ever taking the break and losing all that time.
You’ll hate what you’re doing instead.
If you’re trying to make time for your job and ditch your creative efforts in the meantime, you’ll hate your job. Trust me. And not just hate it, but despise it with everything inside of you and dread waking up to go to it every morning—even if it’s the best job you’ve ever had, at the best company on the planet, with the best people you could ever ask for. If you give it up to go to a small group or be more socially involved with people, you’ll probably start disliking the group and finding it to be a waste of time. If you give it up to go to endless kids’ soccer games or dance recitals where they gets rewards just for showing up, you’ll probably become grumpy towards those activities and wonder if they even bear any merit.
So what’s the answer?
Don’t give up your creative time, and don’t EVER give up on your dreams.
Even in the busiest times of life, you don’t have to give up all of your creative time. I thought I did, but that was just an excuse. I could have done exactly what I recommend to you: find time. I promise you, it’s not that hard.
Most of the effort is against your mentality, not time.
Your creativity and your dreams are as much a part of you as your body. Don’t give up on them, and don’t ever think they should be sacrificed for the greater good. Once you believe 100% that your dreams and creativity are worth saving, you’ve won most the battle. At that point, finding time becomes a piece of cake.
Get up earlier in the morning. Train your brain to think of ideas in the shower, then audio record them in the car on the way to work. Bounce ideas off your spouse while you’re at your kid’s soccer practice. Actually take a lunch break at work to jot down a scene or two (if you’re a writer). Make sure you listen to things that inspire you, like other people from your industry telling their story, trainings, or music that makes your soul soar.
In any case, don’t give up and leave your poor creativity all alone. Your loved ones will notice the negative change in you, you’ll regret it, and you’ll hate whatever forced you to stop using your creative genius.
Keep on chugging, and don’t ever give up on your dreams!
Now it’s your turn! Have you ever gone through a time where you were tempted to just call it quits on your creativity and dreams? How’d you handle it? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.