Business and Art: Finding Your When

The Business of-2

“So when do you find time to work?”

The question is a simple one, but for some reason it always makes me want to laugh, perhaps even chortle (though I’ve never quite figured out what a chortle sounds like).

The phrasing of that question is spot on, because the time to work truly has to be found – it rarely ever finds me.

Since bringing two of our children home to homeschool, my time has been more limited than perhaps ever before. Homeschooling requires me to be fully present for several key hours of each day, which I don’t mind because I’m shockingly enjoying the process. But it does mean that I need to be strategic with my time.

Lately I’ve taken to getting up early to work. Early morning has always been my favorite time of day. I love the hum of the settled house, the smell of coffee, and the buzz I get as my brain starts churning with creative juices.

Getting up early means fatigue, though. Sometimes I’m so tired that by the time we get through our school day, and I get the toddler down for her nap, I have to lay down myself, which cuts into some of my potential work time.

Truly it’s all a dance.

Some days I wake up bursting with energy and manage to get a ton of work done. Other days, I drag myself from my bed only to stare at a blank screen in a sleep deprived stupor.

The final, and perhaps trickiest, component to turning your creative hobby into something more is designating the hours needed to work your business.

Whether you have kids in school all day, grown children who have left the house, or still have small people home with you at all hours, finding the time to work takes effort and discipline.

There isn’t a formula for this part of the equation. I wish it were that easy. But each of us has to manage our time within our own unique circumstances.

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I know women whose creative minds come alive at night. They knock out mounds of work as soon as everyone in the house is settled and then go to sleep fulfilled.

Some women, like me, thrive in the quiet, early mornings. As the sun thrums just below the surface of the horizon, we early birds find our worms and gear ourselves up for the long days ahead.

Perhaps you have some time in during the day while kids are in school, which you can earmark as your creative hours.

Or maybe you hire a sitter to come in a few afternoons a week so you can sneak off to a local coffee shop and knock out projects uninterrupted.

The point is it will look different for all of us, but one thing remains consistent across the board: All working mothers must find the time. It doesn’t appear magically, but rather has to be mined from the insanity of each changing day.

Making a business of your art requires tenacity. You have to know what you’re working for and why, and then you have to believe in what you’re doing enough to make the sacrifices necessary to do it. And make no mistake, when you take your creative hobby to the next level, you’re taking your family with you, so let them in on the journey.

Let the people closest to you in on what you’re working toward so that they can be a part of the journey. Don’t make them watch from the periphery, wondering what’s going on and why you’re suddenly a little more dependent on coffee.

Let them become partners in your journey, helping you find the time to chase after your passions. Because there is no more beautiful sight than that of a Renaissance Mom who indulges in the art of life with her little ones by her side.

The Business of Art

This concludes the five parts series on making a business of art. It’s been a brief, but I hope helpful, glimpse into the ways that busy moms can take their creative hobbies and turn them into something more.

What steps will you take today?

 

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LC-BookCoverThis series is inspired by my upcoming book Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom. *

Co-authored with Wendy Speake, this book is specifically for the creative mom who wonders why on earth God designed her creative, and then gave her children. It’s full of encouragement and stories of renaissance moms who are impacting the world with their art, oftentimes with little ones by their side.

As a special incentive, if you buy your copy by the end of September you will receive a free pdf downloadable that expands more on how to turn your creative hobby into a thriving business. Offering practical tools that will help you take your art to the next level, this is the encouragement you need to move forward toward your creative pursuits.

Purchase your copy of Life Creative now, then come back and fill out the form to receive your free pdf downloadable.

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Life Creative Order Bonus: 5 Steps To Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business

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How Does She…

She crawls out of bed, her feet padding lightly against the cold, tile floor. Moving almost silently past closed doorways, she holds her breath hoping that the simple increase of her heartbeat doesn’t somehow rouse the little ones from their own needed slumber.

She pulls boots onto her feet because the winter air leaves her chilled. For a brief moment, she considers crawling back beneath her warm covers, the thought of snuggling deep down into her bed wrapping itself around her in tendrils of desire.

Instead, she takes a deep breath, grabs a glass of water, tosses a longing look at the coffee pot that she can’t yet turn on for fear of waking anyone up, and she sits down. It’s time to work. This is the only time work.

And work she does.

I’ve spent the better part of the last year watching and observing how creative women merge their art with motherhood. It’s such a beautiful, messy blending together of two callings isn’t it?

In the past few months I’ve been asked several times, “How do you do it? How do you find the time to write with kids around?”

My answer? I don’t really know – I just do it.

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There are so many books out there offering tips on time management. We could all probably share the many bits of advice we’ve been given or read for building a business, generating a successful brand, or creating a successful work environment. The pointers and tips are thorough, and I’ve no doubt they’re effective.

To be a writer, you must write every day.

To build a successful brand, you need to constantly engage in your arena of expertise.

A painter needs to paint, then share her work.

A baker needs to spend time in the kitchen experimenting, developing, and perfecting her craft.

Only…what about the children?

Some of us have a few sacred moments of quiet built into our days. The children head off to school, and for several blissful hours the house is quiet. That doesn’t, however, make fitting creativity in any easier because there’s still the issue of setting the time apart.

There are always a thousand things for mom to do on any given day, even with the children in school. There are field trips to chaperone, homes to clean, meals to prepare, and a myriad other things that beg of her time.

Finding the time to create takes discipline, even when the quiet hours stretch long.

Many of the creative mothers I’ve observed and spoken with in the last year, however, don’t have those extended slivers of time alone. They’re mothers of very young children, fitting art into the cracks of their days.

They’re homeschool moms piecing creativity in the crevices while the kids are at “recess”, eating lunch, or reading a book. They’re simply fitting it in where they can.

I have a book coming out later this year, co-authored with Wendy Speake, in which we offer a glimpse into the lives of these beautiful, amazing, successful creative mothers. It answers the question “How does she do it?” but even more than that, it answers “Why?”

Why do we forgo that extra hour of sleep to tap away on the computer?

Why do we slip away each day while the children are at school and put paint brush to canvas?

Why do we study the art of photography and dedicate ourselves to capturing the beauty of the world through a lens?

Why do we find joy in helping others decorate their homes, pulling together spaces that bring joy and peace?

Because the truth is we can’t really answer the question “How” without also addressing the “Why.” The two go hand in hand, and they have to be examined simultaneously.

In this present digital age, we have the ability to enter right into the living spaces of women around the world. Women are showcasing the beauty and the glory of life and art and motherhood in their online spaces, and the picture of it all is stunning. Because the truth is, it’s all art.

Life and motherhood are simply a moving picture of art – creation – and all of it an extension of the Creator.

So it is that in the midst of all that living and mothering, women are showcasing their art, and it is worship. Every bit of it.

So how do I do it? How does she do it? How do any of us do it?

We get up, pad across the tile floor, blink the sleep from our eyes, and we give in to the call to create. There isn’t a one size fits all formula. There’s simply an acknowledgement that this is what we do. It’s life.

And all of it is art.

 

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