A New House, New Baby, New Semester... New Plan to Complete My First Children's Book
Do you ever feel like there is too much grabbing your attention? too much to do that is more important than what you wish you could achieve? Boy, I feel that way all the time. the artist in me can easily think of grand ideas and beautiful visions for what I can add to the world (in the broad sense, or in my own home) but each finds itself truly challenged to make it across the threshold from imagined view into the real world. the obstacles are large and not a few, however, the biggest obstacle: its not important enough. The world and I both can go on without it. and even when I decide firmly that this project really is the one that I will commit to... my biggest priority begins to cry (even as I write this. I'll be right back)
as a new mother (and recent graduate from my university's art program) I had a very nice-looking plan for artistic success... but physical realities and the toll of adjusting to life with my newborn quickly began to teach me a quiet lesson in savoring every moment--I am more valuable than the tally of my completed drawings-- and valuing what little I can do (even if it is just an unintelligible scribble of my sweet little baby as she sleeps in my left arm)
Now my baby is 7 months old, and I have my own space for art for the first time ever! could I really make serious progress this time? can I set myself up for success?
I was inspired by an article with advice from a freelancer as well as by the dozens of podcast episodes from "the creative pep talk" and "three-point perspective" that I have listened to over and over again during the last year. they suggest this new approach: ACTUALLY PLANNING TIME TO WORK ON MY OWN PROJECTS, JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO ME.
Completely out of left field, I know.
The new approach consists of three elements of making space in my life for what I want to make, and for sharing it with you here while I make it (because that is important to me too):
Make a physical space to do the work.
Make a space in time to do the work.
Make the work a priority for you and your people
(supports & dependents.) aka mental space
my physical space: my desk! (it has been almost 2 years in the works, and then sitting in storage. Now I have a place to put it!)
my space in time: I will take two hours in the morning to draw when my baby is happy awake and playing, and an hour in the evening to write.
my mental space: this project is my priority over cooking and cleaning and watching movies and funny videos on snapchat (sorry, I boycott tick-tock). I will wear my art hoodie with the hood up while I work at my desk to help my mindset. I will step away if higher priorities call and come back when I can pay full (or 95%) attention and I will communicate that priority to my support people so they can support me.
I have wanted to make this space for a long time, and I feel that now I am actually prepared to make the leap. I feel like this set-aside space really will make a difference for me, and for my little book about a boy and his friend who have too many zucchini!