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Putting Time and Effort into your Creative Life

You can't get to do top -- or do much that's worthwhile -- without effort.  So the question is, how much do you want it? You can't get to the top -- or do much that's worthwhile -- without effort. So the question is, how much do you want it?

They were absolutely right.  Time and again, I’ve given time and effort to friends who “want to be writers” – but since it’s not their time or their effort, most of them fall down on the follow through.

Again, I learned this lesson with this thirteen week cycle.  If I want my writing to happen, I need to pay for it by scheduling it and making time for it.

And so, here are my three must-dos for creativity:

1.      Value your creative life and make sure that people around you know how important it is to you.

No, not by talking about it constantly, but by showing in application, effort and learning, that it is something you must do. This is particularly difficult before it starts to pay – because you don’t want to impose on other people.  However, valuing it now will increase the chances of its paying later.

2.      Make time for your creative life.

Whether it’s writing or drawing, or any other form of creative work, it’s not going to happen if you just leave it to its luck.  The world is full of people who say “I would write a novel if I had the time.”  What they really should say is “If I wanted to write a novel badly enough, I’d make the time.”

3-      Create a special area for your creative life, and don’t shy away from spending needed money on it.

It might be a little outlay for a penguin timer, or a little more for a book on organizing yourself, or even for a drawing course, or a book on writing techniques.

While your creative life is not a case of “you get what you pay for” it is a case of return on your investment.  You have to put in enough time, attention, focus and, yes, sometimes money, in order to take your creativity to the level you want.

Hopefully you got something from these thirteen weeks, too.  Good luck, and may you manage to schedule in time to develop and create.


Prolific science fiction novelist Sarah Hoyt followed up her "Your Novel in 13 Weeks" PJ Lifestyle series with a new weekly experiment each Saturday to figure out the best way for all creative types working from home to better organize their efforts. Catch up on the installments you have have missed:

Week Zero, Introduction: Organizing Your Creative Life In 13 Weeks

Week 1/2, Preparation: The Case For Making Lots of Lists

Week One: How to Make Your Mind Like Water

Week Two: What Are the Best Apps For Artists and Writers Desperate To Get Work Done? 

Week Three: The Lone Writer Against The Time Masters

Week Four: How to Tame Your Subconscious

Week Five: How Separating When and Where You Do Tasks Improves Both Productivity and Quality of Work!

Week Six: Organizing your Life is Like Learning to Juggle Eggs and Chainsaws

Week Seven: 4 Tips So You Don't Organize Yourself to Death

Week Eight: Organizing your Writing Life When Words Fail You

Week Nine: After an Upset in Your Routine Catching Up Is Hard to Do 

Week Ten: If You're Trying to Do Two Things at Once, Pick One

Week Eleven: Winding Down And Knowing When You're Sick

Week Twelve: You Really Should Take it Slow While Recovering


images courtesy shutterstock / Olga Danylenko / MelvinDyson / Iakov Filimonov