Creative Spark 5: Time

“Forever is composed of nows. Emily Dickinson” (pg.25)

Have you ever driven to work, to the grocery store or to your hair appointment and all the lights were green, there were no idiot drivers and you found a parking spot right in front of your destination? “If I am struggling with anything, I generally feel like I need to find a better way” (pg.25). The first page of this section confirms what I have thought – I know when I am on the right track because everything comes together easily.

When I saw the above quote on the page in the Bloomston book, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it meant. I don’t think it means don’t plan for the future. I do think it means don’t live in the future.

In finding time, it is important to do a little self reflection. Bloomston has some questions to answer, among them “What is your best time of day?” This is impoetant to know and often hard to be real about because of societal pressures and age. College students and young adults are often pressured by their peers to stay up late. Teenagers would rather be in bed at 8am than in the classroom.

I am a morning person. If I can focus, I can get a lot done in the morning. I am at my best then. Depending on the day, I either start out at the gym or with some work and then a walk. I try to get my work and errands done early, especially the “fixed” errands like grocery shopping. As the day moves on my mind starts to drift so I will do errands at about 3 or 4 pm, attend meetings or other random to dos. It kills me not to be able to work on my quiltmaking every morning. I know I would be able to churn out some fantastic work.

I am not in the habit of working on my quiltmaking during the week because I get so engrossed that I forget to work (paying work). Probably, I just make the decision to take the day off and damn the consequences. My boss is pretty lenient, but it makes my paychecks pretty thin. On the weekends I devote as much time as possible to quiltmaking. I have found, however, that late in the day during the week, before my people get home, is a good time to do prep work -not intensive thinking work – but prep work. Recently, I dragged out a bunch of pillowcase fabric and used about an hour to find cuff fabric, cut the body fabric and generally get the body ready to sew. This has helped me to relax after work and get a lot more accomplished on the weekends.

Bloomston writes “…so I had to tune in and not miss the opportunity” (pg.26). I think that the experience of working for 30 minutes-1 hour in the evenings during the week was an example of taking advantage of an opportunity. I took advantage of something that presented itself and it turned into something positive. I also created a process that ended with a big bang of work on the weekends.

“To squeeze the most out of his creative life, he found a way to squeeze it into his life. No doubt, this takes dedication, persistence, and sacrifice. We have to tune into our own lives to locate those precious hours” (pg.27). In order to get better, you have to work – and that applies to everything, including your quiltmaking and artwork. It’s not all about the inspiration, you have to work to get the process and the habit into muscle memory. Working also creates more work. Have you seen my Petrillo Bags? I did not, as you know, create the pattern. I made the first bag as written and I liked it. However, I looked at the bag and thought ‘I wonder what would happen if…’ which is always the best feeling, because it means that I am inspired to make a pattern different or better. Since the first one, I have made two more, each with some changes, hacks or tweaks. As you read recently, I finished the third one. Despite the fact that I have made many, many bag patterns I want to make a fourth Petrillo bag just to make that particular pattern a little more useful for me.  You have to take the time to make progress.

Because there is a finite amount of time in the day and I like my beauty sleep I try to add time to be creative into little pockets of the day. As I wrote the first draft of this blog post, I wrote it my journal with a lime green Sarasa pen. Writing is one aspect of my creatiivty but I try to make it a visual exercise by using a different colored pen every day so my journal is pretty while still being useful.

You need time.

You can find the time if you only look at what is important. Only read your social media while you are standing in line. Make menus and go grocery shopping once a week. You have to become the mistress (or master) of your time. There is only so much. Don’t waste it.