snatched creativity

Mothers who are also creatives (writers/artists/musicians etc) are extremely resourceful in terms of snatching creative time from days that fill up (and sometimes overflow) with children and domestic stuff and work.

I feel like everything I make is done in intense short bursts, taking half an hour here, an hour there, ten minutes over here to quickly write/stitch/grow.

Like most creative mothers, I look back on how I spent my pre-children time and shake my head at the ‘waste’….ha ha. But to do that is silly and ‘mooching’ is an important part of being young.

It’s an interesting issue. On one hand, I get enormously frustrated at the lack of time I get to spend on creative work, I long for the space to deeply engage with the thinking and processing needed for quality creative work. I daydream about what I could create with more time.

On the other hand, my creative ‘muscle’ is in peak condition. I can whack out a poem draft in a stolen ten minutes, I can add another layer to a journal collage while I wait for pasta to boil, I draft writing in my head while taking the kids to the park – scrawling notes on the back of receipt.

Something about the urgency of snatching the time makes me more determined, more tenacious. I value my time more than I ever have before and I try not to waste it. I am good at saying ‘no’ to things I don’t really want to do (a skill which took YEARS of conscious work.)

I feel like I could write lots, lots more about the topic of mothers who are creatives (maybe I will when I get time – lol). I would love to hear from you about how you cope with the twin demands of children and the creative compulsion…? How do you cope? What methods have you employed to stay sane and keep in the flow?

4 responses to “snatched creativity”

  1. “Something about the urgency of snatching the time makes me more determined, more tenacious” I so envy this. I got too tired and pretty much gave up


  2. this is a great topic helen and i always love to hear what other women have to say about managing their time.

    lately i’ve gotten better (this has taken years of work- 8 years to be precise!) at letting go of that frustration of not being able to work for long periods of time on something, and instead trying to look forward to the next moment that i can go back to it.

    early bedtimes (8pm or so) for the kids is pretty important in our house- i make black coffee and tom and i stay up late working on our projects while the kids read in bed then fall asleep… i just like knowing that there is time in the evenings when i can do my creative work.


    • Black coffee at night?? You wild woman. So you don’t find it keeps you awake later when you are trying to sleep?

      Yes, you get into a new pattern of working, aye? LIttle intense bursts instead of prolonged periods.


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