How I’m making time for creativity.

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…

teddy bear water colour


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! 




8 Responses to How I’m making time for creativity.

  1. dave says:

    Now, I look at that bear and see something else. I think he (she?) is rather splendid, and wish that I could draw half that well!

    It’s hard making time for creativity – I’ve still to find time to do the creativity blog hop post, for example – but it so worth it when you do. I really like the idea of switching off the virtual world on a regular basis and not spending sunday evening trawling through the internet looking at things (bikes, recently – can’t think why!) I can’t afford and stuff I wish I had the time to do.
    dave recently posted…Morvelo City Cross 3 – Leeds – The Snail races againMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      I started last Sunday, got sucked into Twitter a little bit (but by friends, so it was rather nice) but managed most of the day offline. And it was GOOD. Sunday feels like a good day to do it, I recommend it. I get the whole bike thing, I’m rather partial to FAR to much time on the Rapha website these days…

  2. Lindsay says:

    I love this! I suffer from comparisonitis too, and I’m trying to let it go. Slowly, slowly. Being able to acknowledge it, and knowing the cause and being able to walk away is a great learning experience…one I’m getting better at slowly! And remembering that people portray what they want us to see. It took me many years to realise that, too!

    I think you’re always doing interesting things, and I’m very impressed at how much you squeeze into your days! Plus I love the bear : ) Yes, you should definitely take Sundays off to be more creative so I can browse social media on Mondays and admire all your creations! : )

    • Elizabeth says:

      Absolutely – being really aware of it helps to get things into perspective and gives you your power back. I’m looking forward to offline Sundays and getting more stuff done – and then, yes, I’ll share stuff – and be honest about when stuff didn’t work out too… 🙂

  3. Pingback: A Creativity Blog Hop | espresso coco

  4. Manneskjur says:

    Ah he / she is so sweet!

  5. Manneskjur says:

    Ahhh – he / she is very sweet – you have skills woman, embrace them!

    I’ve just had two offline days in a row as I’ve been off and about with the children and I’ve come back feeling refreshed and ready for action! It’s amazing if you sit back and look at how much time one can lose online and compare it to how much you can achieve offline in that time!
    Manneskjur recently posted…A beginners voyage into Home-brewing: Making Cider, part 1My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      I can see from the title of your blog post just how much you’ve been getting up to!! Home-brew! Excellent.
      I lose HOURS online, and it’s already beginning to show just how much I can get done in the ‘real’ world in comparison. Which is good, because my wish-list is huge. And I’ve just signed a contract for a second half allotment, so I need all the time I can get!

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