This is day 10 in our series on wholehearted creative business. We've covered a lot so far, starting out thinking and dreaming big, and little by little, breaking our big dreams down into really actionable tasks, which we've scheduled into our planners or phones. Today I want to encourage you to plan for some
What? Isn't that the same as yesterday? The words are the same, but the emphasis is different. Yesterday the focus was on time: scheduling the tasks we listed that we need to accomplish to reach our goals.
Today I want to focus on the making. If you have (or are starting) a creative business, it's likely that you have a passion for making things. It could be art, cooking, knitting, pottery, jewelry, etc. Or maybe your'e a photographer so it's shooting pictures. Whatever it is that you love to do, and have built a business around, make sure that you carve out time to do and enjoy that thing.
As entrepreneurs, we have to work on the business. There are tasks that have to be done in order to sustain and grow. But I want to encourage you to make time just to play. You wouldn't have a business at all if it weren't for the making. Don't lose sight of that. Even if you're at a point where you have hired people to do the majority of the making for your business and you're mostly the administrator these days. I encourage you to make time regularly to get messy with the materials (or ingredients) and just play. Experiment and enjoy the process.
Recently, my sister, my daughter and I started taking a mixed media art class together. We go once a week and have so much fun together, getting messy and playing with new techniques and materials. I love having this creative time each week, but even without this class, I know that I need to make time for myself to make. I have a tiny space in our home where I have all of my supplies. I make time as often as possible to get in there and make something. Even just 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I know I need that.
When I was at Gathering of Artisans, artist Aeron Brown was a speaker one night and I loved the way he compared exercising our creativity to breastfeeding. I wish I could remember all of it, but he talked about the flow and how you have to keep it pumping so it doesn't dry up.
If the milk doesn't flow, the baby doesn't eat. There are people who need your gift. You may be blessing people in ways that you'll never even know. Keep your creativity flowing because what you create matters.
In the early days of nursing especially, if there is no flow, you get engorged. I experienced this all four times. It was painful and accompanied by fever. It hurt even to lift my coffee cup. Likewise, when I'm not taking time to make things, I feel engorged creatively. I'm sure you know what I mean.
If you've ever nursed a baby, you know that as your child gets older and starts to eat other foods, nursing less, the flow of milk slows. Eventually the baby stops nursing altogether and there is no more milk supply. Everything is still there internally, so you can nurse another baby who may come along, but the current flow has stopped. As we create, the flow keeps coming. If we don't use our creativity, the flow slows down. Don't let it dry up! But let me encourage you: if you do feel like your creativity has dried up, there's hope! Just like a mother who hasn't nursed a baby in a long time, the flow will come again as you start to use it. It may be painful at first, but press on.
Soon you'll find your creative groove, it will become a regular part of your routine, and you'll cherish the time you get to spend doing what you love.