The Creativity Is What Fuels Me

The trouble with being a creative person is the creativity is what fuels me… in a world that doesn’t allow much time for creativity.

In my world, there is time for laundry and dishes, for packing lunches and for snuggles on the couch. There is time for cooking dinner and making the 15th taco/quesadilla/some other something consisting of cheese and carbs for picky children that week. There is time for telling stories and time for baths. There is time for counting my blessings and laughing with my family. There is time for a lot of really lovely, ordinary, everyday things that I am immensely grateful for.

There are never enough hours in the day to create.

There is time to lay awake at night, dreaming of all the things I want to create, of all the books I want to write, of the pictures I want to take, of the stories I want to tell.

In the morning, there is only time to be regretful of staying up so late with my dreams and plans. There is time to answer emails and send out invoices. There is time to pay bills and mess with code. There is sometimes time to get started on a draft, an outline, a rough sketch of something, but there is never enough time to finish it.

Because my life is interrupted by one of the millions of little things I am, truly, immensely grateful for. The things I know that won’t always be here. The things that will grow up and leave someday, leaving me with all the time in the world to create.

But the trouble with being a creative person is the creativity is what fuels me.

And yes, creating life, well that’s some kind of amazing right there. I won’t argue that. But, I’m never happy with creating just one kind of thing. I want to create life (and nourish those little lives, and wipe those little noses, and watch them play), but I also want to create other bits of lovely in this world that give me the fuel I need to pour all of my happy spirit into those little lives.

And somedays it just feels like I’m running on fumes of creativity. And I get so overwhelmed by the everyday and the ordinary, and I look at all the creative things I haven’t done, all the dreams I haven’t brought to life, and I feel tired. Sure, probably tired from the whole incubating a fetus thing, and the 2 year old still waking 3-4 times a night thing.

But mostly tired because the creativity is what fuels me.

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  1. Your post came just at the moment I was feeling utterly depressed by the fact that, yes, I love my child, but seriously… I have not done a single me-creative thing since he was born, and it makes me feel smaller somehow. Two-dimensional. Not the kick-ass I wanted to be for him, just a mommy-automaton. Maybe it’s because I never had any routine before him, but there are days I feel exhausted just thinking of all the things that have to happen so the day goes smoothly. I love him, but I am tired. And sleep deprived. And missing painting or writing into the wee hours of the night. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

  2. Love this piece! I am right there with you. There are so many things to do during the day and into the evening hours, but I am constantly dreaming and scheming about spending more time writing and taking pictures and creating. I suppose there will be time in the future when my kids are older, but being creative is not something you can turn off. It fuels me too, so I try the best I can to carve off time here and there. It has to do for now. Good luck on finding the time.

  3. I read a lot of blogs, but never comment. (I know I’m terrible.) But I just had to respond, because this is EXACTLY how I feel. You said it so perfectly.

  4. I know what you mean – I love my family; I wouldn’t trade them for anything… Yet sometimes I feel like I just need some time to create something – some time to be ME. It’s really hard to to find the balance of time for me and time for everything else.

  5. Andrea Maxson Roddy on

    My “babies” are 5 1/2 and 8 1/2. I am also a creative person. I have packs of unopened canvases and a dusty easel. My walls have been the only things I have painted in years. My creativity, for now, is in crocheting. Mainly because I can do it, and still interact, and hopefully not miss all the little things. Sometimes I am alone during the day with my thoughts…too many, and to quickly racing through my mind. There are so many things I want/need to do, and most never get done because oftentimes, I spend WAY too much time thinking about them and which one needs to be finished first. Creativity as a fuel is a tiring thing!

  6. I know what you mean! I’ve read a few other blogs where they commit to doing something creative/me time for a small amount of time each day, like 20 minutes. It really seems to work for them. For me I have to remind myself to say forget the dishes and chase what makes me happy sometimes. I hope that’s helpful : )

  7. Love this, Jill. There are so many different things pulling at us. I could easily just quit all that I’m doing and focus singularly on family and home, but there’d be a massive hole there. I wouldn’t be me – I’d be a shell of me. Still, like you said, the thoughts of all the creative ideas still undone are so tiring …

  8. I so hear this! And I keep working to remember that time is more flexible and creativity more fungible than I assume…so I’m playing with ways to schedule and commit to creative time. Frankly, it’s better for all of us when I get room for that! And soon, soon, I hope, we can all be creative together in our own separate ways. :). Thanks for your honest and beautiful description of these tensions! And good luck!

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