Last week, I read a post about goals that have to do with your art from Eileen, The Artful Crafter, and it got me thinking about my own crafting and artwork. In addition to writing, I like to paint, scrapbook, crochet… and try out anything new and creative. I’ve been playing with glass and soldering and it’s all been really fun. I have an aunt (who is such a talented seamstress and stamper, it’s ridiculous!) who is constantly reminding me to “take time for my creative gifts.” I love that she puts it this way. When you look at the creative parts of your life as gifts, you want to spend more time on them.
The problem is, as a freelancer writer, any free time goes to building your: blog, website, writing, clients…. When you’re a freelance writer or blogger, your day is your own. That can be a good thing, or it can mean you are working long hours while you are building your business.
So for the freelancers out there like me, I wanted to give you some tips that have helped me make time for crafting, even when I didn’t think I had time.
Make a Pact With a Friend
A while back I posted about an art pact that I made with my friend Michelle. The reason for the pact was quite simply was that we were both working our fingers to the bone and didn’t have time to craft. We were both professional bloggers, and while I love being able to make a living from writing, sometimes I forget that I don’t always have to update a blog or look for new opportunities on weekends or at night. Having that art pact with her made me get back to it.
Don’t Feel Guilty About Putting Down the Laptop
I’ll admit it, my laptop is glued to my… well, lap. I’m constantly updating blogs or researching articles or promoting my work. I enjoy it. But sometimes I actually feel guilty when I do something else. I have that typical freelancer mentality that no matter how busy I am, I’m worried about where the next client is. That mindset can be good and bad. But I’ve banished the guilt by taking a few nights during the week and then some time on the weekend to craft as a reward for how hard I work. I do it as a “payment” to myself.
Being Creative in One Area Helps With Writing
Writers especially just want to write. I scowl at anyone who comes near me when I’m writing. I’m all like, “What do you want? You want to eat dinner? What time is it? I’ve been at this for ten hours straight? Okay, sorry… give me one more hour.”
So to deal with this, I began to look at my crafting time as a way for my unconscious to do some writing for me. You know, the type of writing you do in your head? Like when you’re in the shower, or dreaming, or waiting in line at the DMV? It’s like that. I tell myself that my mind will be conjuring up new things to write about when I’m crafting, so in a way I am still working. I haven’t argued with myself about it yet.
Keep Your Crafts Accessible
Crafting became much easier when I created a space to do them. I know not everyone has the extra room to make a crafting space, but when we transformed one of our bedrooms into a craft room, I found it so much easier to pop in, work on a scrapbook page or whatever, and then leave it there (without guilt) and go back to my life. Before the craft room I used the dining room table, and it used to take me more time to haul out my scrapbooking stuff than it was to actually scrapbook.
Okay, those are my suggestions. I hope they help you, because they really have made a difference for me. Happy crafting!