The Creative Process

The other day I was lamenting that it is incredibly frustrating that I have my best creative moments in the middle of the work day. Those moments where I think, ‘Man, I wish I was at home because I could really get some writing/art/whatever done right now.’

So, in those moments, in the middle of the day I get excited for my creative energy and inspiration and then, what happens? I go home. And what happens when I go home? I’m hit with being tired, lack of motivation and an overall brain drain from working on projects for clients instead of my own works.

I thought about this as I read Mandy’s post about that…“In the space between anxiety and boredom was where creativity flourished.”. Later Mandy writes, “Though I have not been bored in years, I can’t claim that my creativity is always flourishing. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of choices I have, rather than the lack of them.”

That. Is. Me. I’m not bored. But boy, do I get overwhelmed. Not only by what I can do, but the goals I set for myself. Every weekend that I’m alone, which is a lot these days since Chris is doing field work, I write up a to-do list of things I want to do, all the big, important things I’m going to get done, and by the end of the weekend I’ve only done a tiny inkling of what I set out to do.

Somehow in the mix I shuffle my creativity into being overwhelmed and then sidetrack it into doing other things from the mundane (chores) to not so mundane (shopping or nails painted).

Sometimes I hear my sister in law saying “I’m gonna need you to focus.” I can’t remember the backstory on that, but she was saying it quite a bit a year or so ago….I need her here to say this to me.


Here I am writing a book and the next thing all I want to do is draw or crochet. Part of that is the instant/semi-instant gratification that comes with those two. I can, if diligent, draw something in a couple of days, and likewise depending on the crochet project, have something crocheted in a few days. It’s something that I can say “I did this. Good job, self.”

This writing thing? It’s a whole other mountain to climb. There isn’t instant gratification at all. And you know what? I’ve talked myself into writing two other books, with a third being a distant idea that needs fleshing out. I’m not sure when I’m going to do this, I haven’t even finished one book.

The creative process is hard.

So, I guess I will keep plugging away at the book, writing it until it is done. I’m trying to allot myself at least an hour to write a night, hoping for more, but most nights I don’t even write. In the hour time frame that I do manage to write, depending on how easy the words come to me and how much I have to look up (I try not to look things up, saving that for editing later) I can get between 1,000 to 2,000 words in an hour.

The rest of the time I’m trying to catch up on photography in order to update the website which is in desperate need of updating, fitting in blogging which is another creative outlet, and somehow getting crochet and art into the mix.

But, I know I am not alone in this creative process, that others have the same issues, even those who get to devote their entire days to their craft.

You just keep trudging along until you get it done. It’s the only thing we can do.


  • chel

    Amen- I think it’s why I like painting and beading- both require very few decisions after the initial ones are made. I just don’t have the energy right now to be engaged with a process that requires constant creativity!

  • Patrice

    I’ve said this before … you are being too hard on yourself. Lower your expectations because writing with a goal is HARD!! Still, this post is well put. Life just sucks the energy right out of us. And we can only trudge along.

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