Writers (and creative people of all kinds) face a lot of obstacles along the road to pursuing their dreams. These hurdles come in all shapes and sizes — from big and ugly to little and annoying.
But there’s one thing I can say with certainty about these creative roadblocks:
Almost all of them are self-imposed!
Yep. No matter how much you want to blame something “out there” for your troubles, with rare exception, the obstacles you face are self-made. They are sad stories you tell yourself about the world that you fervently treat as the Gospel truth.
And these epic tales are blurring your vision and keeping you from making progress with your writing, music, art, etc.
Here’s a perennial classic:
“I don’t have time to devote to my craft!”
Really? You don’t have time?
Did you get shortchanged when the Laws of Physics gods were doling out 24-hour days?
“Hey, I only got a 17-hour day! What gives?”
Here’s the thing about time …
It’s the true equalizer. It’s one of the only things that is evenly distributed among all human beings.
You can make a rational argument that some people have more money, better looks, a fatter Rolodex, nicer cars, and so on.
But everyone gets the exact same amount of time to work with.
I know, you have to work or you have kids or you take care of aging parents. Yes, there are life obligations that appear to suck up most of our time and keep us from doing the things we truly love.
But is that really an accurate assessment of your situation?
A personal story
In the early years of building my reputation and body of work as an author, I had a lot of constraints.
I worked a full-time job, my daughter was a toddler, and I was recovering from a divorce. I also played in a band and acted in a couple of plays every year.
I could have easily told myself I didn’t have the time to devote to writing books and marketing my work on this new thing called the Internet.
But I resisted that seductive story and, instead, carved out time here and there when I could.
Even if I had only a few minutes to spare, I would make time to tweak a book outline, flesh out an article, or interact in an online forum.
I chipped away at the things that needed to be done, while also handling all of my other responsibilities the best I could.
Was it easy? No. Did I whine and complain? Sometimes. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
One thing I have never uttered to myself is, “I wish I had started doing this creative stuff later.”
No one who puts in the effort to do something worthy regrets it. And you won’t either.
The truth is, you’ll never have “more time”!
Something will always come along to fill the void. So stop deluding yourself that now is not a good time to devote to your art, writing, music, or other passion-fueled idea.
You can decide right now that your creativity is important, and that you’ll find the time to invest in it.
You may be thinking, “This guy just doesn’t know my schedule and list of obligations.”
The truth is, I do. I juggle a ton of stuff in my own life. And at times it can seem overwhelming. I’m not denying that.
I’m also not suggesting you should pack every waking minute with activity. You also need to carve out time for rest and self care. As always, your goal should be equilibrium and balance.
But, if you accept your role as an Empowered Artist, you’ll also make time for your art. Even if you only have ten minutes some days to devote to it, you’ll make it a priority!
One thing you could do is commit to a short-term burst of activity, like I did with my 30-Day Blog Writing Challenge.
Is 30 days too much? Then commit to 21 days, or 14 days, or even seven! Could you devote a little chunk of time to your art every day for just one week?
Of course, you could! Commit to doing that now!
Also, reading this short article might help too:
I’d love your thoughts on this!
Do you make regular time for your music, art, writing, etc? How do you overcome the “I don’t have time” excuse?
Please leave a comment, give this article a clap or five :) and share it with someone who would benefit from reading it.
This is Day 16 of my 30-Day Blog Writing Challenge.
Bob Baker helps musicians, authors, artists, and creative entrepreneurs use their talents and know-how to make a living and make a difference in the world!