When I first started planning my wedding, I continued writing. I told myself I could do it. I could juggle two jobs, plan a wedding, workout, and nurture a slowly budding writing career, right?
Fast forward one year during our two-year engagement and I realized I couldn’t do it all and sleep. Solid wedding advice crept to the surface. A wise coworker told me:
“Choose three things that matter to you the most. Focus on those three things and only those three things. Then assign everything else to someone else or don’t worry about it.”
At the time her words echoed in my head during a chaotic day at work, I had two of three big things set in stone for my wedding. But in my life? I was trying to run on nearly dead batteries. So I decided to choose three things to focus on in life—writing was not one of them, and that’s okay.
If you’ve never planned a wedding before, you’re probably horrified that I would give up on my creative outlet for a year. The thing is, I didn’t. One of my jobs is in communications, so I still wrote and edited daily. Plus, I continued to read and attend my monthly writing group.
Here’s what I chose to focus on for that year, but your list may be different:
- My jobs. During this time, I changed jobs and got a promotion. This was vital to my career and financial health. I never wanted to be a starving artist.
- Working out. This was (and still is) my stress reliever and creativity inducer. Being physically healthier made me mentally healthier. Plus, I wanted to look good in my dress on my wedding day. There’s no shame in that.
- Wedding plan. Duh. I couldn’t afford a wedding planner (see 1) and who else but my fiancé and I could plan our own wedding, anyway?
Now that we have said our vows, the cake has been eaten, and my name is legally changed, I’m glad I focused on three things during our second year of engagement. Wedding planning is like another job. And now that that third job is done and our lives are back to normal (whatever that is), I can replace number 3 on my list to “Write, edit, repeat until published.”
Don’t fret if your creative time is nonexistent or negligible.
It’s just like working out or planning a wedding—you have to carve out time from your busy schedule to be creative. Maybe you’re charging your creative batteries right now, and that’s okay. Sometimes life does get in the way. But don’t let life stay that way. Your babies will grow. Your classes will end. Your body will heal. Take your creative life back when the time is right. For me, that time is now.
Happy creating (or charging)!