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I’ve gotten lazy. Not the type of lazy that warrants sitting on the couch all day though. I’ve been creatively lazy. I didn’t even realize it happening at first. My mornings always felt rushed and afternoons were spent at work. I spent evenings making dinner and cataloging a crazy amount of time watching Breaking Bad, American Horror Story, and Peaky Blinders. I gazed at Pinterest boards and read blogs. I designed pretty To-Do lists and calendars. On the weekends, I gardened and cleaned.

This last week, I sort of snapped. I started to feel myself becoming the person I didn’t like. I was grouchy and moody. I was mean. I didn’t know what to do. I felt the pent up energy bursting to be free and had no outlet for it. I tried running and went to a yoga class everyday this week to find some sort of balance. It helped. Like a band-aid on a gushing wound, it helped a little.

Then, a writing buddy asked if I could beta read for her. I figured since I wasn’t doing much writing of my own, I might as well carve a space of time to help her out. At first, it felt like a chore. But, the more I edited the hell out of her manuscript, the better I started to feel. It may not have been my work, but it was the outlet I needed. I needed to see the words, to shape them into something, to help them breathe life into a character. It was awesome!

I picked up Only the Dead (my current manuscript) and started to read, and soon I’ll start to write again.

The burden of being a creative person is the necessity to keep doing it. So keep doing it people and never stop.

Planned Creativity

Being creative is hard work. It takes time and motivation. Did I mention how much time it takes? Seriously, I never really thought about how difficult it is when you are so out of practice. Sometimes I need to stare off into space for a bit just to get started. And there’s nothing worse than staring at a white screen/paper/whatever with nothing to put on it. It’s been months since I’ve drawn, photographed, or written anything. All my creative energy is getting sucked out by the classes I teach. By the time I get home, I’m either drained or all my time is accounted for by my kids. Sometime around 8:30 I plop myself in front of the computer and expect a miracle to happen. I’m still waiting for the miracle to happen…

But I have some plans up my sleeve. I’ve decided that maybe I need to embrace the fact that I teach photography and have all these resources at my disposal that I never really take advantage of. And, I’ve been super into creepy horror books/TV/movies. Hence, a creepy photo series that I really want to attempt and maybe even a few short stories that accompany them.

Anyways, the point is that none of this will happen without some serious planning on my part. This goes back to my Filling the Well post. I got myself a new notebook (I sort of think I like the new notebook part of the planning the most), some pens and highlighters, and a new Pinterest board. I really wish I would have started this before my Winter vacation started, so I could actually see my progress. Then, I am (I really will this time) setting aside two hours every other day that are mine. In those two hours, I can either write, take pictures, or blog. I can’t search the internet, read email, or get stuck on Pinterest boards–that’s all couch time when I’m too tired to do much else. I’m also setting a goal. In two weeks, I will post my first photos AND a short story. Ok, you all get to hold me to it!

What do you want to do? Make a plan. Set a schedule. Tell us about it in the comments and we’ll hold you to it too.