A Creative Life: Finding Your Creativity and Making Time to Create

finding your creativity and making time to create

Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.

If you”ve followed along with me on my blog, Live Renewed, for any length of time you”ll know that I consider myself an un-crafty mama. What this means to me is that I don”t have a natural crafting ability. And, when I do attempt projects that I see on blogs or other websites, it usually goes badly for me, meaning it takes way longer, is way harder, and makes way more of a mess than it did for the original crafter, and the end results look nowhere near as wonderful as theirs.

My other issue is time. Because it always seems to take me much longer to complete something, I get overwhelmed with the amount of time that creating can take away from my day. And these days time is not something I have an abundance of.

It”s disappointing to me, and actually kind of depressing. The fact is, that despite my lack of ability, I really want to be able to create beautiful stuff with my hands. I like the idea of crafting, and I do wish that I was better at it.

Can you relate? Maybe you don”t consider yourself very crafty. Or maybe you”re also struggling to find the time it takes to craft. If that”s you, I”d like to take a minute to offer you some encouragement and inspiration.

A few months ago, I found myself with a stronger urge to create than I”ve experienced before. I was spending lots of time working and writing, and was feeling like my brain, and hands, needed a different kind of creative outlet, and I was so busy that I was feeling the need to create more space for leisure in my life.

I was itching to get out my sewing machine and try a few projects, and I kept pinning knitting projects before Christmas, even though I knew I didn”t have the time to start any of them. I even decided to make handmade Christmas presents for my family.

Over the last few months, I”ve been exploring my crafty and creative side, and now I can”t get enough and I”m feeling a need to create that I”ve never felt before. But, I still have the constraints of lack of time and skill, so I”m learning how to fit being creative into my life. Here are a few things I”ve found that work for me; hopefully they”ll encourage you too!

choosing creative projects
Photo by Emily at Live Renewed via Instagram

Choose Doable Projects

This one may seem obvious, but one of my pitfalls used to be that I would bite off more than I could chew and try to do projects that were just too hard for my ability level. They would take me more time and not look as good as the original, or just be left unfinished; both of which dampen can your creative spirit.

So, I”ve decided that I”ll only take on knitting projects with chunky yarn and big needles, and I”m trying my hand at easy, and forgiving, sewing projects like these , or this infinity scarf that I made for gifts for my sisters. Finishing a project, even if it”s a simple one, is such a great reward and motivator.

Don”t Be Afraid to Pause

I used to think that once I started certain projects, I couldn”t finish until the project was completed. So I would continue working even if the kids were getting restless, dinner was supposed to be on the table, and the house was getting out of control. But everything about that just stressed me out.

Now, I let myself put away the sewing machine, or the project materials, even half-finished, until a better time. And then I have something to look forward to finishing.

quiet moments for knitting
Photo by Emily at Live Renewed via Instagram

Steal Quiet Moments

I”m learning there are minutes here and there throughout my day where I can steal a few quiet moments to create. These moments give me peace and help me to push the reset button on my day.

Even if I only have time to finish one row on my knitting project, it feels better and more productive to do that, then to browse Facebook or Pinterest, and little by little, I can complete my project.

Give Yourself Time to Learn

This goes along with choosing doable projects, but it”s important for me to remember that I”m still learning this stuff. Knitting and sewing and other types of creating are still new to me, and I have to give myself grace and time to learn these skills.

Projects won”t be perfect the first time around. Rows will have to be pulled out while knitting. And that”s okay. Learning is a part of the creative process, and I”m realizing that being crafty and creative is more about the process than it is about the end result. The finished project is the reward, the bonus. But finding the time and creating the space in my life for crafting and leisure is really what my hands, mind, and soul need, even more than a pretty pillow for my couch.

Is crafting something that comes naturally to you, or something you have to work at? How do you find, or make, time in your day for leisure and creating?

About Emily

Like many moms, Emily began her journey toward natural living when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. From cloth diapers to homemade green cleaners, she began making small changes toward a simpler more natural lifestyle. When her husband lost his job a year later, she scrambled to also learn how to live as frugally as possible. She quickly realized that many things that save money also save the earth, and began chronicling her journey toward living "frugally green" at Live Renewed. She is now the proud mama of two little ones, and although her husband sometimes wonders what she has done with the woman he married, she is passionate about helping her family live differently and responsibly as they strive to be a good steward of all of the resources God has provided them with.

Comments

  1. I absolutely love knitting, mainly because I am still in the throes of littledom. If I can knit a few rows, and then set it down, I am happy. And I figure knitting projects are supposed to be time consuming, so I don’t feel as guilty about finishing hats in July instead of the winter they were to be used ;-)

  2. Good ideas to keep in mind! I find it hard to allow myself time to create. I used to have to set things up wither in my kitchen or the dining room until I finished a project. Like most projects, you make a mess before you get a finished product and for the neat freak in my husband and I, it was more than I could bear at times. But taking the time to set up and clean up each day was crazy and so I often just gave up on a project. I think that it’s also this crazy false guilt we sometimes feel for taking any time to actually be the people we were created to be. Last year, my sweet husband took a closet and put a counter top and cabinets in it. My sewing machine has a place to live but it also has a door to close the mess. I can leave my things set up and go right back to where I was . I can now find a stolen moment to create and don’t worry about the mess. If you can even scratch out a closet…it’s so worth it.

  3. i too am uncrafty…i would add one additional suggestion, FIND SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW AND ASK FOR HELP–the learning process does not have to be solitary

  4. I am drooling over that shelving!

  5. Perfect way to have more information about this good topic

  6. Nice to be here and see your post! Thank you for sharing so much!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] A Creative Life: Finding Your Creativity and Making Time to Create by Emily @ Simple Homemade. My favorite quote: “Even if I only have time to finish one row on my knitting project, it feels better and more productive to do that, then to browse Facebook or Pinterest, and little by little, I can complete my project.” How true! [...]

  2. [...] week I was over at Simple Homemade sharing how I’m working on incorporating more creativity and creating into my life. [...]

  3. [...] If you've followed along with me on my blog, Live Renewed, for any length of time you'll know that I consider myself an un-crafty mama. What this means to me is that I don't have a natural …  [...]

  4. [...] Simple Homemade: Finding Your Creativity and Making Time to Create [...]

  5. [...] If you've followed along with me on my blog, Live Renewed, for any length of time you'll know that I consider myself an un-crafty mama. What this means to me is that I don't have a natural …  [...]

  6. [...] If you've followed along with me on my blog, Live Renewed, for any length of time you'll know that I consider myself an un-crafty mama. What this means to me is that I don't have a natural …  [...]

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