Continue to Create No Matter What Is Going On

I recently read a blog post by one of my favorite authors and creators, Danielle LaPorte. I felt that she had written the post especially for me.

Danielle talked about her first book, The Fire Starter Sessions, and the lessons she learned as she wrote and published it.

Her first “lesson” was the one that really resonated with me: Create no matter what is going on around you.

Am I doing this? I asked myself. Am I creating no matter what is going on around me?

And the answer came: Yes, I am.

I am a writer and an aspiring author, yet my life revolves around my family—immediate and extended. A few days ago I wrote to a friend about progress on my various interests outside my family. This is what I said:

“To be perfectly honest, my life is not set up to be anything but a stay-at-home mom and a support person to my extended family—right now. But I’m plugging along, doing what I can, when I can.”

I’m doing what I can, when I can.

I’m working on my short story, I’m writing blog posts, and I’m journaling. When I look at all that I’d like to do as a writer, it’s not a lot, but when I look at my life as a whole and my priorities, I’m very happy with all that I am doing.

I’m working toward my 10,000 hours of mastery, sometimes 5 or 15 minutes at a time.

“Create no matter what’s going on around you.” I think Danielle means just ignore everything and create. I see her lesson in a different way.

There’s a lot going on around me every day, so I tell myself to write “for 15 minutes,” or I create “just one tool” for my life coaching clients, or I keep my iPad in view so I can add a few ideas to the mind map I’ve started for my next talk whenever I have a spare few minutes.

These are tiny steps, but they add up.

I used to end every day feeling defeated because I “didn’t get anything done.” When I said that to myself I ignored all the tasks, chores, loving, and caring I did every day. I meant I didn’t get 1000 words written, or a story finished, or another chapter written. I didn’t get anything real or substantial doneand nothing else counted.

These days I know that everything I do counts and anything I do with respect to my writing is progress.

I know I will continue to create no matter what’s going on around me. Today I may only have 15 minutes to write, but I know there will be a day in the not-too-distant future when I’ll have plenty of time to write. On that day I’ll be glad for the free hours and I know I’ll look back and be glad I spent today’s hours as I did, and I’ll be glad for that 15 minutes of writing.

How do you continue to create no matter what else is going on?

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a blogger, writer, life coach, mother, and stepmother. I don’t want to say I’m lowering my expectations of myself, but if you want to look at it that you, you could. I choose to think that I’m doing what I can, when I can, and that’s just right!





28 thoughts on “Continue to Create No Matter What Is Going On

  1. Thanks for this. It speaks lots of volume, and yes, I will continue to create no matter what is going on around me

  2. sometimes, it’s the little steps that open the doors of wisdom, thanks for your blog, last night i wrote in five minutes what ought to have been said by millions for years, amen, and once written, it’s in stone as they say

  3. I must agree that “Continue to create no matter what is going on” has become my new rule of thumb. It matches perfectly with my own goals of moving on, moving up, moving forward. Good luck on continued creativity! 🙂

  4. this is such good advice and i think you’ve found a good way to follow it, by doing what you can in the creative arena each day. you don’t have to write a chapter, but by doing little creative things along the way, you continue to head in the right direction. life happens, side by side with creative pursuits, there is no one or the other. best, beth

  5. When I’m stuck in my writing, I do something else creative. For me, that’s cooking or even putting pen to paper instead of being on the computer. Doodling isn’t something I’m good at doing, but doing something different opens new doors. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Great thoughts. I’m with you – the best approach is to take advantage of all the little opportunities that present themselves. I believe Asimov has a quote to that effect, that when others spend a free 15 minutes doing nothing, he would be writing, always writing, a little here and there.
    My wife reads the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to “pray without ceasing” this way. She doesn’t shut herself off from the world all day long, but keeps an attitude of spiritual reflection throughout the day, using the small moments to maintain that central pursuit while dealing with the needs of each day.

  7. That you so much for sharing this! I needed this reminder, it’s easy for me to make excuses to not write, draw, etc. I feel encouraged after reading this. We can create wherever we are and through all situations 🙂

  8. I agree with you. It’s so easy to feel defeated and not realize that in the texture of your life, no matter how busy, hide the dreams you will one day hone into beautiful stories. Meanwhile, write whatever, whenever, and each tiny effort will keep you on the upward path. Failure is not possible when you take a small step forward every day.

  9. wonderful post Diane 🙂 for a really long time I felt I wasn’t getting anything done because I wasn’t completing 50 short stories a year and a novel but then I started looking at what I was in fact accomplishing – creatively – and there was a lot, not all of it writing. I am being creative when I bake a cake from scratch, knit a scarf, draw a picture…etc

  10. Indeed, I have to thank you for reminding me of creating no matter what. It is refreshing to know I am not alone struggling with my creativity and my projects on their way up.

  11. For me this is constant struggle. It reminds me a bit of that great non-fiction read ‘Stravinky’s Lunch’ which looks at how female artists in particular struggle to balance the creative with everyday domestic concerns. Nice to know I’m not the only one who can finds the balancing act tough.

  12. I am a full-time freelance writer and owner of Codemo Writing Services. Recently, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Regardless of what is happening to me medically, I still need to continue writing. Deadlines don’t wait just because you have cancer.

  13. Your post spoke volumes about how as writers we just need to do what we do and write. I try to use whats going on around me. How I feel about my surroundings, how it is affecting me and what the result is on my written words. I block out 50% but remain conscious to 50%. I have my limits though… (o:

  14. This definitely speaks to me. I’ve been operating under the assumption that I need a large block of uninterrupted time in order to create. I’m rethinking my process.

  15. Thank you for this reminder! I usually crawl out of bed an hour early every day to focus completely on my photography, blog, website maintenance, etc… and I have been sleeping in this past week because I was so exhausted from a recent project I completed… this is a nice nudge to get me back into the habit of the pre-dawn awakening!

  16. So very true! It was that mindset that contributed to being able to finish school around a full-time job and busy family. I learned to study no matter what was going on around me. Now I’m trying to take the same attitude with writing. Am I getting as much done as I would with a block of uninterrupted time? Of course not! But I am still moving forward, and that’s what counts. It also helps your family be more supportive when you stay engaged with them rather than closeting yourself away for long periods.

  17. Pingback: Book Update + Writing, Feminism, Disability and Media Links | Natacha Guyot

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