Accountability matters

When my alarm goes off and it’s dark outside, all I want to do it hit snooze. But I always think about my accountability partner. She’s probably working out right now because she’s amazing. I can’t let her down. We’re on this journey together. So I get up and, after walking my dogs, I change […]

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.

Got goals? Learn from the pros!

Last week we discussed #goals. This week, we’ll talk about how to achieve those goals.

Here’s a simple step-by-step process that takes a lot of time and effort:
Step 1: Learn from the pros.
Step 2: Do what the pros do.
Step 3: Achieve goal.

No matter what your goals is – writing a book, becoming a MIG and TIG welder, budgeting your finances – the best way to fulfill those goals is to learn from the pros. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of pros want to share how they became a success because what they do is important to them. And who better to learn from than someone who already figured it out? Ideally, learning from a pro is done in person, such as job shadowing or an apprenticeship, but that’s not always an option, which is okay. There are other ways to learn!

Learning isn’t just for students. Learning is not limited to the classroom. You don’t stop learning when you get a diploma and not having earned a diploma doesn’t mean you can’t pursue your dreams.

Lifelong learning is necessary for everyone with goals.

I believe in the value of higher education, but I recognize that going to college or starting a job training program isn’t the only way to learn. We must think outside the box for various avenues to learn, which is fun and easy to do in this technology-driven world. My favorite ways to learn are:

  • Visit a library. There are seriously SO many opportunities to learn within a library – and I don’t just mean the books. (Although you should try reading books, reading eBooks, and/or listening to Audiobooks, too.) Many libraries offer events and workshops, and they are usually free – no library card required.
  • Visit a local college or university. They often host well-informed speakers (pros, if you will) for lectures and present cultural events, and many of these are open to the public at little or no cost. Also, look into their non-credit offerings. You can’t earn a degree when you take them (non-credit = no credit earned toward a degree), but you can learn a lot of amazing things for a low cost. (My mom and I took a few cake decorating classes a few years ago. We spent less than $100 between the two of us and had a blast. I also learned that I won’t be starting a cake decorating business anytime soon.) Check a college’s website or call them up to see what they offer. They aren’t just there for their students. They are there for their community; they are there for you.
  • Attend workshops and training opportunities. Personally, I seek out opportunities through my employers and my local libraries, but a quick search on Eventbrite shows a variety of local options. You might have to pay for these if your employer is not.
  • Listen to podcasts. Podcasts opened up a whole new world for me! There are so many experts on various topics out there who answer questions and inform their audience on their specific area of expertise.

Here are few resources I have found inspirational and insightful.

Books: 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller; Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis; and Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose by Sadie Robertson.

Podcasts: The Ken Coleman Show, EntreLeadership, Christy Wright’s Business Boutique, and Life Money and Hope with Chris Brown. If you’re not listening to podcasts, you should be. There are so many out there! These are just a few I listen to for free on CastBox, which is a free app for Android and IOS.

You know what’s crazy?

Learning to fulfill your goals can also get your creativity flowing again when you’re tired.

Creativity is intertwined with the rest of your life, so keep on learning.

Challenge: Do one of the above bullet points this week and let me know how it goes in the comments.

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In an effort to share my love for learning with the community, I created a library display that highlights all of the things you can learn from library books.
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I focused on what you can learn from the adult non-fiction section, from budgeting to getting a job.

Letting Go of Perfect

Some days I’m convinced perfectionism is a shape shifter. As I edit my drafts and continue down this writing path I get more and more ‘finished’ projects. At least I think they are finished, till I read them again a week or two later. What happened to my perfect project? Why do I hate the […]