Thinking back on my days creating Manic Mommies, I often wonder where I found the time (or energy) to, with my amazing partner and friend Erin, record and edit a podcast nearly every week for almost 10 years – over 400 episodes, if anyone is counting – not to mention the blog posts we also wrote in our “spare” time.
And, if I remember correctly, we were both raising toddlers, husbands (yes, I said that on purpose), and managing careers.
I have good excuses for the decline in my “side hustle” creativity and productivity at home – age, work responsibilities, did I mention age? – but recently I came to another conclusion.
For me, creativity (and by extension productivity) requires a little selfishness, space, and self-confidence.
If social media channels like Facebook, which I think we can all admit are a total time suck, are about being connected and engaged with people in our lives, then reclaiming that time requires me to disengage. To be okay not knowing what is going on at every moment, with everyone we know. If anything, to be a little selfish and focus on me.
So I’ve disconnected – not completely, but certainly significantly. I’ve tried to minimize my time on social channels, finding something else to do when I slip into mindlessly scrolling through timelines and streams. And when I do share something – as I will do with this post – not obsessing about how people respond, or anyone responds at all.
This weekend, that change gave me time, and space, for other things, including riding my bike on the trainer, continuing the house purge, finishing a book that challenged me (Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder) and working on new watercolors to hang in our living room.
What, you didn’t know I painted?
I don’t really, but we needed something to replace the holiday watercolors and, since we are also on a financial detox this month, I decided to give it a try.
Which brings me to the last thing creativity needs – confidence.
Confidence to give something a try, knowing it may not the best, or perhaps not even that good. (Did I mention that I didn’t listen to my first podcast, probably ExtraLife Radio until we had recorded and published 3 or 4 episodes of our own?)
Confidence that what you’ve created is good enough to hang on the wall, or the case of the podcast or the blog, confidence to make public.
Confidence that someone, anyone, might want to read what you’ve written. And the confidence to keep creating, even when the feedback is negative, or non-existence, because it makes you happy and fuels further creativity.