Writing every day may not be practical, especially for those of us who have a full-time job, or who have to raise kids. Many creatives struggle to fit writing into a busy life because they don’t make writing a priority.
Often, we claim we can’t make the time to write because our lives are too busy, when in fact we’re hiding behind an excuse that is blocking us from seeing our full potential.
Get out of your own way!
This article discusses the importance of making creativity a priority in your life, and I also provide an exercise to help you shift your mindset from “I have no time to write” to “I make time to write.”
Let’s hop to it!
Creativity should be a priority in your life. Your creative self deserves as much nurturing as your physical and emotional and mental selves. And yet, it is the most common “self” we deny.
When you nurture your creativity, your inspiration will blossom, and that inspiration will grow into other parts of your life. This is because expressing your creativity is J O Y F U L !! Even when it’s challenging. There is nothing easy about writing; it is freaking hard. But being inspired to write? That should be easy…and yet we create drama around it.
You aren’t taking away from your real-world life if you honor your creative self. Rather, you’d be benefiting your real-world life because you’d be doing something that feels good to you.
Give yourself permission to write. No one else can do it for you. This also means you have to figure out how to fit that writing into your chaotic life.
What would this look like for you?
That depends on your end-goal, your lifestyle, and what amount of writing feels good to you, what makes you feel satisfied from one day to the next.
I like to push “every day,” but that’s because I consider all forms of writing to count. So if you’re writing emails, blog posts, captions to photos, poetry, short stories, thoughtful comments on social media posts—it ALL counts as writing. When you look at it like that, then writing every day is a cinch.
As long as you’re writing on a regular basis, though, then you’re nurturing your creative self (which means you’re also positively impacting other aspects of your life).
Here’s the thing: because creativity is an actual part of our being, when we don’t nurture it, we feel negative effects. Just like when we don’t exercise or eat nutritional food, we feel low and ugh and not ourselves.
How do you get started?
Here’s an exercise to help you shift your mindset so that you can fit writing into your busy life.
We need to obliterate the limiting belief that we can’t fit writing into a busy schedule. When we stand behind this limiting belief, when we think we don’t have the time to write, then we won’t have the time to write—because our thoughts create that reality.
STEP 1 – Pick a task or a responsibility that you had to (or currently) deal with every day. Something you didn’t enjoy, you dreaded it. You hate, but you have to do it. This has to be something that, if you didn’t do it, no one else would. This can be something in your past or something you’re dealing with now.
(For me, it’s meal planning, dinner prep/cooking dinner every night, and kitchen clean-up.)
STEP 2 – Why is this your responsibility/chore/task? Why is it important for you to be the one to do it?
STEP 3 – What are the consequences if you don’t do this chore/task? What is the worst thing that can possibly happen if you suddenly decide you no longer are going to be responsible for this chore/task? I want you to include real and imagined consequences.
(For me, if I’d decided to quit making dinner every night the consequences would be that my family would eat Pop-Tarts and ice cream, lol.)
STEP 4 – How do you get through it anyway? Even though this is a dreary, thankless job you’re still doing it anyway. What gets you through it, day in and day out? There’s no reward other than your own self-satisfaction?
Journal through these steps. What comes up for you? What new ideas are sprouting? Are you looking at things differently now that you’ve gone through this exercise? What seems to be the running theme here for you?
As you can see—you have “forced” yourself to do something that you found difficult, annoying, frustrating because you assigned a VALUE to this task. Somehow you deemed it important that YOU be the one to do it. Somehow, you convinced yourself that if YOU don’t do it, it won’t get done, and all hell will break loose.
Because of the VALUE that YOU assigned, you have then given yourself a role.
But guess what—you can fire yourself from this role, or at least only perform the role on a part-time basis.
Redefining the Value of Tasks
You built a limiting belief around this so-called important task. You assigned a value to it which may not hold the same level of importance now that you’ve done this exercise.
It’s time to redefine the value of this task to allow you the chance to treat it differently in your life.
Look at the consequences (real and imagined)—is there any way you can modify your level of commitment so that you don’t have to be in charge of this task/chore/responsibility every day? Maybe take three days off, just as an initial test?
You’ll see that your imagined consequences won’t play out. And as for the real consequences, are they as bad as you thought they would be? Or are things still relatively manageable?
Now, what is the value of this task?
What we’re doing with this exercise is to prove to ourselves that when we take action on the lives we want to live, then we start the process of truly living the life we want to live.
Sitting in resentment, complaining, stating “I can’t” — none of that brings us anywhere close to the things we want in life.
Instead of complaining or believing we are stuck with the way things are, we can actively make a change in our lives simply by pivoting out of dissatisfaction to a place of ease. Consciously make the choice to not do something that we don’t enjoy and fill that time with something we do enjoy.
What this means for you, as a writer, is that you can MAKE time to write. Simply by recognizing that what we consider “responsibility” might actually be a limiting belief.
I crushed my limiting belief about the need to cook dinner 7 nights a week by doing this exercise. I realized that no one will starve if I stop cooking dinner every night; my family will figure things out. No one is going to think I’m an irresponsible mom for not cooking seven nights a week because I show up in other areas as a very present and hands-on mom.
Once I wrapped my mind around that, it was much easier for me to not cook 2-3 times a week. That gave me a good 7-10 extra hours per week to tend to my writing or other creative pursuits.
And guess what…my kids aren’t malnourished after all.
What are some responsibilities aka limiting beliefs you hold that are blocking you from fitting your creativity into your life on a daily basis?