When Your Creativity and Your To Do List Are at War

This morning I passed an open door, saw morning light streaming through the guest room window, and thought how I could be doing art in this room, but that there is a bed in the way, and so much stuff. 

And I was thinking of my new friend Jennifer over at Clever Girl Studios, and how she has been taking over rooms of her house to do art.

And I thought of my new friend Brian, creative director at Rouse, who is constantly shifting things around, moving furniture pieces, adding beauty and refreshing the space.

And I thought of my new friend, Jenna at Divine Hunger, who, just like that, has taken up painting and is brilliant.

And pretty soon I was moving furniture, and creating an opportunity for me to do more of what I love. And it was exciting.

But then I started feeling guilty because I have, seriously, 27 things on my To Do list, including getting ready for my Wordstock appearances this weekend (including a panel with the fabulous Laura Stanfill and Sage Cohen), and dealing with things like newsletter, calendar, banking, client questions, volunteer commitment. Stuff.

And, there's the shadow at the back of my mind, figuring out how to help my disabled family member in the hospital.

I was tossing a clothing tag into the trash, and I noticed a message: "Do Not Hang On." It didn't really say that, but that's what I read. 

So I let go of my list. And sat down on the carpet of the just-started art space, and glued scraps on my notebook cover.

Sometimes we hang onto plans and designs while there is something much bigger waiting for us, something, that if we tend to it, will give us the energy to handle all the other details and obligations of our lives.

This something bigger is our creative energy.

When we allow it to lead the way, we can let guilt and frustration and "some day" all dissolve, and we can be the artists we are meant to be.

I'll let you know how it goes with the 27 things.


  1. Thank you! I needed this today (and probably every day). I, by the way, have precisely 27 things on my to do list, too. I thought that was funny. :)

  2. Great to hear from you, Alyssa! I love that we share that number - and I'm excited that it isn't going to rob you of your creative time!


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