Do What You Can

posted in: Creativity 0

“Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can.”
Ashleigh Brilliant


I know how challenging it can be to follow your dreams when you are just plain tired.

If you have a  stressful job, a long commute, and a host of  other obligations, creativity takes a back seat. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t even get in the car.

I feel your pain! For twenty years I was a creative machine, making a living entirely from my creative work. Recently, I’ve returned to a traditional job to supplement my income.

The Pros:

A Steady Paycheck, A Steady Paycheck, A Steady Paycheck!

New Friends/Experiences/Skills

Plenty of Material For My Songwriting

The Cons:

Limited Creative Time

Energy Zappage (Is that even a word? If not it should be.)

Did I Say Limited Creative Time and Energy Zappage?


If’s funny. There are are less cons than pros, but the cons greatly overshadow the pros, emotionally.

Here’s what I do to combat the day job blues and keep on track as best I can:


First thing every morning I do Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages.  They are a great way to unload and reload all at the same time.

Then I do a five minute meditation visualization. I spend the time imagining my what my perfect life would look and feel like.  I’ll admit there are mornings that I have trouble getting into this, so I’ve written a a page or two of how I would like my life to look and I refer to it as necessary. The quote above by Ashleigh Brilliant is scrawled on my notes to remind me that things are not always perfect. That I have to do the best with what I have from where I am. By the way, check out his writing and other offerings. He never fails to inspire and I love that he makes me laugh out loud!

Next I spend a half an hour either painting or working on my music. If I have time, I’ll do both for a longer stretch of time.

I don’t check my email, phone, or social media until after I’ve had my creative time.  I set a timer and when it goes off, I start to get ready for work.

Sometimes I’ll create during my lunch hour.I’ve tried songwriting, practicing my guitar, or painting on my ipad,  But most days I need that time to simply get quiet and regroup. Besides, It’s hard to squeeze me and my guitar in my back seat…

After work I spend time with my family. I watch very little TV and when I do I avoid anything that’s stressful.

At the end of the day I focus on gratitude. If I’m “in a mood” and not feeling grateful, I make a list of all the things that ticked me off and then I flip them around and look for the hidden blessing. That helps me shift my energy every time and truly stimulates my creativity. Hey sometimes I have to think long and hard to find the good!

If this all sounds like a lot of work, it is. But I’m not going to give up on my creativity. I remember what my life was like without it and I am not willing to go back there, for I wasn’t really living.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: when you feel like giving up, give out, and you will get. Hey! There’s a song there somewhere!