Following on from my Creativity Blog Hop post, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wrote about wanting to prioritise being creative. About finding the time to try new things, to study, and to develop my skills in the crafts that I have begun to learn. I find that I can spend too much time looking on Pinterest and on Instagram at the work and lives of other people and not enough time on doing. It is all very well seeking inspiration, but when it turns into time-wasting, or worse—creating huge amounts of self-doubt–then it’s a problem.
On Saturday, I had the day to myself, and I found myself drawn to Instagram. I spent far too long looking at all the beautiful images: flowers, interiors, crafts, travel to beautiful places, still-life vignettes and wishing that they were mine. And wondering things like “Why can’t I create such amazing images? Why haven’t I made something so beautiful?” and “Why don’t I live like that?” Of course, the truth is that no-one’s life is perfect. We all use photography to share the best of our lives; carefully creating still-life images, or cropping and filtering away the imperfections.
And yet, there is another truth. None of the people who had created the photos were doing what I was doing; spending far too long looking on social media and not enough time practising my own creativity. I need to prioritise learning about photography to improve my composition and lighting. But I also want to work on my other crafts, my allotment and doing all the updates to my home so that I’ve got new things to photograph!
My attempts at art need some work for a start. My bear has terribly wonky ears…
Mark Twain was right: Comparison is the thief of joy.
We know that social media can be a blessing and a curse. Having the chance to see other people’s creativity can be so inspiring but if you’re feeling a bit sorry for yourself it can feel as though everyone else is having a wonderful time at the best party in the world and you’re not invited. On Saturday, after my Instagram wobble, I gave myself a talking to and then went into town to get some materials for a summer holiday craft to do with the kids and to buy film for my Polaroid camera. It felt good to be focusing on my own life, and my own making and doing, instead of living vicariously through the photos of other people.
And so, and still thinking about Annie’s post about blog-life balance, I have decided to take matters in hand. One day a week, on Sunday, I am going offline. No social media, no blogging, no google searches. Just me, my giant creativity wish list and one empty day a week in which to make things happen. Sunday feels like the right day to do it. If I’m alone, I’ll work on my own projects —which includes my allotment—and if I’m with the kids, we’ll make or do something fun together. It’s my promise to myself and to them.
Of course, if I manage to create anything worth sharing, you know I’ll be back online the following day with my Instagram images. After all, I’m only human…
How do you make time for creativity? Do you find yourself drawn into social media like I do? I’d love to know… do share in the comments!