I was able to hear writer Jeff Goins speak at the Influence Conference recently. And something he said really stuck with me. He explained that sometimes he is able to block off his calendar for an entire day or two for some focused writing time. He can schedule those hours and dedicate his time to just sit thoughtfully with his words. Many times it's outdoors with lots of fresh air and inspiration. Maybe a candle lit if the mood strikes. And he will write pages and pages of what, in those moments, feels like an amazing outflow of brilliant words and thoughts. He really feels in the zone. However, weeks later when he goes back to read those pages again, it's actually a bunch of crap. That an entire day of focused writing didn't really yield the results he thought it would.
I loved that. I loved hearing that sometimes more time and more planning doesn't always equal more art. He said that instead, what he's learned is that "the best art comes in the midst of life". It comes when you're facing a deadline. It comes when you only have a quick ten minutes at the crack of dawn to write something eloquent before your kids come barelling down the stairs. It comes when the spirit moves! It comes when you're spreading peanut butter and jelly on a piece of bread for the 27th day in a row. It comes when you're driving your daughter to school and she frantically informs you that she has to go pee NOW. Well, that one was a bit harder to find the art in, let's be honest.
It's in the midst of real life that you find moments of clarity and inspiration. I can't tell you how many times my blog posts have been off-the-cuff, in the moment kind of heart reflections. I've never been very good at managing an editorial calendar or planning ahead with this space. I have found that the most artful words are composed when I'm just doing the living.
It's life moments like this one that I can't plan but yet evoke so much inspiration.
Is there something you're excited to create right now but are putting it off because you don't have the dedicated time? I left the conference this weekend encouraged to take steps anyway. Despite not having the spare time....create art anyway. Jeff says it's those in-between moments, where life is lived and small steps forward are taken, that you actually build the bridge to your dreams.
This post is part of a series I'm writing for the month of October entitled "31 Days of Seeing the Art in Everyday Life." See all other posts in this series by clicking here.