Have you ever thought you don’t have time to make art? Maybe you feel you need to get into a certain mood first? Or that you need to have more energy first? Or maybe you feel like you need to take a particular class first? Or even move house before you take on your next project?
By the time my first baby turned one I was burnt out. I was trying to “carry on” as before but the conditions were all wrong. I was exhausted, I didn’t have the time to learn new elements of my craft, and unlike my pre-parenthood years, my mood felt out of my control. I thought, How on Earth am I going to make the work that’s so important to me when everything — even my inner-most self — has changed now I’m a Mom?
It was a long road with lots of disappointments, but through trial and error I found a way of working that suited me. It’s not a done deal. It’s more like an attitude. But if you find yourself “needing” hours to “get into” your work, but don’t have that luxury, here’s three tools that helped me get out of my postpartum rut.
Run tests. Do you work best in the morning or the evening? Do you prefer a quiet space or a busy place?
Use small chunks of time. When do you have between 5-30 mins to give to your art? If you can’t find the time, think about it this way. Writer Liz Gilbert once had a friend encourage her this way: Do you have a favorite TV show you watch? Stop watching it.
If there’s an assumption, turn it into a question. Do you believe you need a meditative state to make art? Try doing it in the opposite conditions, like on the bus or train on the way to work. Don’t take the bus? Start. In other words, question the conditions you need to make good work.