I sent an email this week that talked about how it’s going to be a long winter. I don’t care how you slice it. I don’t care what happens. It’s going to be a long winter and it can also be a joyful and productive winter, if you take time to do the work that you love… to do the work that you were designed to do. Do the work that feeds you, that nourishes you. It’s not the kind of work that takes energy from you, it’s work that gives you energy, that replenishes you, that lights you up.
It might be artistic work and it might not be artistic work. Lots of highly creative people are not the least bit artistic. And frankly, there are some artists who aren’t really all that creative. Creativity has to do with problem solving. It has to do with creating something new. It has to do with innovative problem solving.
So, wherever it is that you get called forward; wherever you’re always interested. If you see a book about it, you’re going to buy it. If you see something on TV about it, you’re going to watch it. If somebody brings it up in conversation, you immediately love that person and want to talk to them more.
That’s one of the qualities of highly creative people, is they actually have multiple zones of creative genius. There’s a lot of things that we can get lost in. So, you can do a little discernment for yourself about, do you want to just pick one? Do you want to have several? And where do you want to be? You know, if you’re going to commit time to it (and please. commit time to it) move it from the yes, should get there someday. Oh yeah, I really want to do that. Oh, that’s it’s in the spare room, I should really take a look at that.
Put it in your calendar. If you’re going to write every morning, then write every morning and put it in your calendar. If you’re going to spend two hours every Saturday afternoon, if you’re going to go for a walk every day, whatever it is, put it in your calendar and get some commitment around it.
And the best way to get commitment around it, of course, is to get some community around it. I can tell myself all day long that I’m going to do XYZ or I’m going to draw, or I’m going to write, or I’m going to do whatever. But if I tell you I’m going to do it, if I know that you are meeting me, that we’re going to do it together, that we’re both going to be there Saturday afternoon… well then, I’ll for sure be there. Right?
So, think about the work that you want to engage in this winter. Where do you want to get to? Like, oh, I’d really like to be able to play Somewhere Over The Rainbow on the ukulele by Christmas. I’d really like to have perfected my pastry technique. I’d really liked to have learned how to tie that fly or code that app or understand this. Whatever it is that you’re into, or where you want to get to… commit the time to it, put it in your calendar and better yet get some community around it.
And of course, the best way for people to stay highly involved in community around something is to pay for it. It doesn’t even have to be very much money, but to say, okay, we’re gonna have a Sunday afternoon writing group from 12 to 3. At 12 o’clock, we’re going to get on zoom. We’re going to check in with each other. How’s everybody doing? I’m going to turn off our cameras and microphones. We’re going to write for two hours. We’re going to check back in and say, how did it go?
That puts time on the calendar. We all do it, and I’m going to charge 50 bucks a month. I’ll get 10 people and 50 bucks a month is enough to notice… like if I paid 50 bucks a month for something, I’d be like, oh, well I kind of want to skip it, but I paid 50 bucks for it. I might as well be there.
You know…50 bucks, 10 people, that’s an extra 500 bucks a month. That’s fun. And you don’t have to keep it. You can give it away. You can donate it. You can share it and have a big party. You can do whatever you want with it, but scheduling that time and charging some money for it professionalizes it, makes it more of a thing and helps keep people from flaking out. And now all of a sudden, you’re creating an environment in which people are achieving the things they really want to get done.