Budgeting matters in the creative life

My husband and I recently completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, so together, our financial budget matters. But so does our time budget. Your grandma’s birthday is this weekend? My best friends’s birthday is next weekend and I work all day.

Why does money and time matter to the creative life?

We need to budget our creative time and, when applicable, budget money for our creative life.

This includes things like blog fees, publishing fees, graphic design fees for your new book cover. I’m not going to lie. I kinda suck at this (aren’t I poetic?), but I’ve learned to sneak in time for my creativity lately, a lot in part because of this blog. Write in the cracks of life. I write during breaks at work. I write on my phone while riding shotgun to events. I jot down ideas as they come to me on sticky notes, to-do lists, and random slips of paper.

Taking time away from creativity because you’re lazy can be like signing on for a loan.

You are indebted to whoever or whatever you signed the loan and your time to. You can pay it back and slowly get your time back, but it takes time and money. Time and money you’ll never get back.

This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you get money quick, you’re probably going to lose money quick. The same thing goes with inspiration-driven creativity.

If you rely on only creating when the muse visits or when inspiration hits, your creativity is going to be fleeting.

You’re going to lose it fast. But if you budget time for creativity often in your schedule, it will just keep on building, similar to interest on an investment.

Challenge A: Budget your time for next week. Make time for your creative life by literally writing your creative hours down on your calendar. I don’t care if you put it in your phone, write it in a tiny box on a printed calendar in your office, or add it to your to-do list, but write or type it somewhere. Then follow through with this commitment to yourself and for yourself.

Challenge B: Add a creative line to your budget. Whatever your art needs, like a computer program, contest fees, or paint, set aside some money for it because your art is worth it.

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