laesmeralda (laesmeralda) wrote,

making time for the muse

I was returning to a creative project over the weekend—editing the first full draft of a novel that I finished in late 2012—and I was stunned to notice that the modification tag of the file showed that the last time I had accessed the document was a year ago almost to the day.

At first, I rejected the information. I would have sworn I had been back to that project over the summer and fall of 2013. But I was patently wrong. Frantic that I had lost the most recent file, I checked, and this one had the last edits I recall making.

So, I revisited my year creatively. Last spring, I also stopped taking dance class due to a calf injury. I haven't sketched or sculpted in the intervening time. And I haven't been writing new stuff. Nor, incidentally, was I playing on the internet or out having great fun with friends. Where did the last freaking year go?!?

There are many legitimate answers to that question, but I find none of them satisfactory from a creative standpoint.

When I exclaimed about this, and repeated the exclamation in various forms over the course of Saturday and Sunday, my husband gently reminded me that I had just finished another creative project. I spent my free time over the winter editing and compiling a collection of short erotica (original characters) and self-publishing it with a friend's help on Kindle. I wrote two new stories for the collection, but otherwise, these stories have been lying around in quiet piles for years, and they just needed a good wringing out, trimming, and ironing. I had to learn how to format and convert for Kindle and all that good stuff. I had the joy of sending ideas to a cover maker and then agonizing over some great choices he produced. But that took evenings and a few hours on weekends for two and a half months of this cold, dark, long, miserable northern Midwest winter. That means that from last April through December 31st, 2013, I did not engage in creative play.

I am sitting here contemplating that I must restore some disciplined place in my schedule for creative endeavors. With the collection finished and out in the ether, I am pledging to keep for myself at least a fraction of the time I spent on that project each week. Rather than turning it back to work time, household chores, family needs, or paperwork (which is always endless anyway), I will do something creative with it. Two to three hours a week seems like a reasonable goal that I can stick to. At least, I'll try.

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