Treating lack of time, overwhelm and stress in your creative life by choosing less

Treating lack of time, overwhelm and stress in your creative life by choosing less

We all seem to want more time.

Time to create, to pursue dreams, to build our ideas.
To live, to breathe and to slow down.

We fantasize about the things we’d be able to do and create if only we had another day in the week.

We try to squeeze in more activities than our lives can hold, trying to make it work and often ending up sacrificing those precious slow moments.

We need more slow in our creative lives

We need more slow in our creative lives

We live in a world that is obsessed with more and faster.

When I started to create regularly in 2016, I wanted to do it all. I wanted to stuff as many different creative projects into my life as possible. Quickly finish my first novel. Learn to paint and open an Etsy shop. Post on Instagram every day. Write one blog post and one email for my Teacup Owls every week. While working a 9-5 job.

Balancing a day job with a creative life on the side doesn't have to be stressful

Balancing a day job with a creative life on the side doesn't have to be stressful

Working a full-time day job and being a spare time creative can feel like you’re trying to fight time while stress wants to be your closest friend. But it doesn't have to be like that.

It can be a happy, balanced and meaningful way to live your life.

Over the past two years, I've run this blog, photographed for my Instagram and worked on my novel, along with lots of other projects, all while having a regular office job. And today, I'd like to share the most important things I've learned about keeping stress away.

A creative winter retreat

A creative winter retreat

I love December. The traditions surrounding Christmas are lovely, but even more than the holiday itself, I love the days after, when the big celebration is over. In those days between the holiday rush and the energy of beginning a new year, there's a little gap I like to spend in retreat from the world.

I hide out at home with great leftovers of food, candy and cookies, I take walks in the snow if there is any, I sniff our Christmas tree and sink deep into my books. And I create.

Does your priorities match your dreams?

Does your priorities match your dreams?

Our creative dreams are often deeply important to us, creative longings of the heart that just won't leave us alone. They are the things formed out of love for a craft and from who we want to be and what life we want to live.

And yet, dreams can be hard to work on. Hard to prioritize in a life filled with other things you want and must do, things with a shorter time frame and a closer connection to your everyday life. 

Dreams can go unrealized because they are so big and your weeks only have so many hours. So how do we do it? How do we match the priorities of our day to day life with our big and scary dreams?

Why writing less may make you a more productive writer

Why writing less may make you a more productive writer

Since I started writing my novel a couple of years ago, I've written in many different ways.

I've attended NaNoWriMo and written 50 000 words in a month. 
I've written during my commute, with my laptop on my lap.
I've written in the early mornings before work. 
I've written in the dead of night.

Most of all though, I've written on weekends. During the day, when I'm rested and focused. That's when I can usually write pretty well.

What is pulling you away from your fiercest creative dream?

What is pulling you away from your fiercest creative dream?

It was the beginning of the summer, and I was overwhelmed. For a while now, I've been searching for a clear direction in my creative life, for this blog, over and over again listing all the different things I'm working on. Blog, novel, book club, Etsy shop, photography. 

Structuring and scattering. Finding my focus and losing it again. 

I have tried to live my creative life with a big flaw. 
I have tried to do everything I want to do.

It may sound like living the dream, to do everything you want to do. But the reality is that it often interferes with your dreams, turning you into a stressed person half-assing many projects at once.

I don't know about you, but that's neither how I want to live nor create.

Five questions to ask yourself when you're feeling scattered and overwhelmed

Five questions to ask yourself when you're feeling scattered and overwhelmed

The creative life can be overwhelming. Being driven by inspiration, creativity and dreams, it's easy to want to do everything. We run hither and dither, creating all over the place. There are multiple projects, developing your craft, social media and all the things to figure out.

We end up feeling scattered, not sure how to choose between our inspiring ideas. Time is constantly running out but little gets finished.

What I learned from taking a creative break

What I learned from taking a creative break

At first, I didn't want to take a break. I had so many plans, so many dreams, my 2017 laid out in a spreadsheet. I didn't have time for a break. 

But it's when we feel like we don't have time that we need a break the most. 

I tried to ignore the little voice in my head that kept whispering that I needed to stop, to rethink and reconsider, but I couldn't.