“The key difference between someone who successfully sell their art and someone who creates for a hobby is that even they feel like they don’t want to. “

Following a conversation with my dad, the words of one of my mentor’s creeps back into my mind.  The conversation has left me feeling down and at this moment in time the idea of heading back into my studio to work on my latest piece, even though it has a deadline, feels impossible.

But I have to complete my piece.  I need to get paid.  I have bills that won’t wait.

As I sit with my cup of tea my over analysing brain tells me there are several pieces to this puzzle.

  • I feel down and need to change my mood
  • I have a commitment I need to keep
  • My “muse” has left me
  • What if I’m in that natural rest and restoration phase that all creatives need to go through.

So, changing my mood

I know that staying doing what I am doing I’m going to continue to feel the same.  The solution is I need to get into action.

So, doing my art changes my mood, going for a walk works, working on other projects, talking to people.

I could challenge my thoughts, but this is one of those moments where concentrating on what I am thinking is only going to grow the problem.  At this moment in time there is no solution to it, my only option is accepting and not resisting it.  It’s only going to get bigger in my head if I do.  So, I’m opting for a mindful solution rather than a CBT thought challenge moment.

I have a commitment to keep

This is more than my commitment to finish the piece, this is about the commitment I make on a daily basis to do 30 minutes of art a day.  At this moment in time, I could go into my studio and simply work for 30 minutes.

If I’m in the flow I can continue, if not I’ve kept my commitment to myself and have something to feel good about.  That, in itself, will help sort my mood.

My muse has left me

This is where the difference between someone who creates art as a professional and does it more as a hobby shows itself most.

You don’t wait for the muse to strike to go to your paid job.  You go in, you get your head down and you do the things you need to do.  Your thoughts and your mood may change but even if they don’t you have a job to do.

It’s often in simply doing the practice of painting that the muse strikes.

It is as we continue to work, regardless of our muse, our skills increase.

As professionals, we work regardless of our muse.  We make a choice, a commitment to get into action and do what we need to do because it’s our job.

What if I’m in that natural rest and restoration phase?

As creatives, we naturally have periods where we need to rest.  It’s part of our unique make up.  What if I’m heading into one of those.  What if the best way to look after myself is to honour my need to rest and step away from my art?

There is a really simple way to work out if I’m in a phase where I need to rest or not.  Heading into the studio and working for 30 minutes.  If at that time, I am feeling good and want to continue then it is just a temporary blip caused by the phone call.  If I’m needing to take more care of myself, after 30 minutes I will know.  I will know if need to continue resting or if I need to step away from my art.

More than that I will be 30 minutes nearer completing my piece.

How do you create if you don’t want to?

So today my choice is to commit to my daily habit of 30 minutes’ creativity.  It gets me into action and away from my thoughts.  I can test out if I need to give myself space from art to rest once I have done it.  I will be closer to completing my commitments and I will have achieved something, even if I haven’t solved the problem that triggered my bad mood.

The solution to how to create if your really don’t want to, is making a commitment to creating daily and simply doing it, regardless.

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