"Me Time" for Creatives

Sometimes I really have my stuff together, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with daily life. Get up. Rush to work. Work for 8-9 hours. Run errands. Go home. Do chores. Relax for about 2 hours. Sleep. Being a creative being, that routine can only sustain me for so long and then I need to DO something. I have a instinct to create or talk about creativity and if I don't have an outlet, I get a little depressed and stir-crazy. It even leads to burn-out which effects my job.

I was the April issue of Better Homes & Garden and saw their monthly calendar article which is usually themed. This month was "A Month of 'Me Time'". The advice is based on a book by Lisa Quinn called Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets. Isn't that the truth? Sometimes I look at all the work I put into a clean house and wish I could convert it all to energy spent creatively. Granted, I am the kind of person that needs to be in a clean, organized home, but wow, it takes up a lot of my time. And when I am done, I am tired. Hiring a maid is out.

I am a bit of a "homebody", but when I am at home, I don't get as much creative work done. A messy bedroom and a pile of unlaundered clothes are there to taunt me until I finally step away from what I am doing and attend to them. Last week, I went to the coffee shop with my portable art supplies to finish up a Doodle Swap Project swap. I was incredibly productive while I was there.

So what do I do when I feel like I'm drowning in a world without "Me Time?

For starters, I am involved in some creative group projects such as The Doodle Swap Project and HOWiezine. They are things that keep me happy and fill a creative void that my 9-to-5 job creates. These things keep my wheels turning and it's a great opportunity to share with a community of other artists. The organization of these projects takes place online and through social media resources, so it makes it very convenient to keep up-to-date.

I have a "studio". I have one room that is full to the brim with art supplies, books, my computer, and lots of inspirational trinkets. The trick is to keep it functional. I have a LOT of stuff and it gets a bit out of control at times. But, the great thing is that I have a place that is all my own. I can put on my favorite music, clear off my work table, and get started making something.

Because the internet is much more cultured that the area I live in, I take time out to look at other creatives online. I browse blogs and other creative Web sites for inspiration and project ideas. Seeing the things that other people have done lights a fire under my dormant ideas!

I take my camera and go for a ride. This is something I would like to do more of. When I go, I just focus on driving around (preferably in the country) looking for things that strike me. Then I pull off the side of the road and take photos. It's a great thing to do on a beautiful day.

As often as I can, I like to get together with other creatives in person and share experiences. If you can attend conferences and workshops then great! But, if you can't, having a creative buddy to bounce ideas off of is another useful outlet.

Even though I feel like I have made much progress in making time for the creative side of my life, I think that things can always get better. As most people do, I have good intentions, then life gets in the way. Maybe "A Month of Me Time" is a good idea. Perhaps I can start scheduling in times to be creative on a monthly basis to make sure I have one creative outlet per week.

What are some things you do to make time for your creative self?