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Working Hard, Not Smart


What kind of secrets do we keep? From others? Or, most importantly, from ourselves?


In Week 10 of "The Artist's Way", we're recovering a "Sense of Self Protection". What might we be doing to block ourselves from our creative recovery? Chapter Ten covers overindulgence in things like drugs, alcohol, and sex. Perhaps we're even distracting ourselves with things that seem healthy like focusing on our diet or exercise.


Maybe we're devoting all our time to a singular pursuit or obsession; whatever it might be: gardening, cooking, video games.


In order to flourish creatively, what we really need to find is balance. Take care of yourself physically. Eat well. Exercise. Tend to your spiritual needs. Find time for meditation and reflection. Stay productive in your work life.


None of these things are bad or wrong, but if we spend too much time on one thing, we fall out of balance.


I've been known to say: "I work hard, not smart", which is another common pitfall for recovering creatives.


Art is my job. I channel my spirituality through my art. I support myself through my art. Working too much is by far my worst habit. I get so hyper focused on a project that I forget to leave time for dreaming. I don't allow time for letting fresh ideas to flourish and bloom.


I've bought dozens of planners in my life and can maintain a healthy well-balanced schedule for a week or even a month but then it all falls apart. I stop paying attention and fall right back into the worst of my workaholic habits.


But I refuse to give up. I've picked up my Panda Planner and am working on setting up a workable schedule that covers all the basics: social media, yoga, meditation, and my art practice. (of course, I haven't forgotten to schedule in family and child care).


Overwork may not be your particular block. We all have coping mechanisms to keep us blocked creatively because it feels familiar. We think if it's familiar than it's safe.


Safe isn't always good. In "The Artist's Way", we've been learning to question all our assumptions and to look for the flaws in our work and life habits. For me, Week Ten is about seeking that sense of balance and giving myself space and time to flourish creatively.


No more nose to the grindstone. No more just focusing on that which is directly in front of me. I need to take a deep breath. Stand up and look around. So much living is going on around me and I forget to take those precious moments and just drink them in.


There's so much more in Chapter 10 which I can't realistically cover in a simple blog post so if you haven't picked up a copy of the book, I encourage you to do so.


No more secrets; no more hiding things from ourselves. We will learn to see the forest and the trees; to breath deep of the the fresh, nurturing air. Let's not hide from ourselves any longer. We will find that balance.


Our Secret Love doesn't need to be a secret. Come out of the shadows and into the light. I will love you bravely, openly, brazenly. You are wonderful. You are creative. I believe in you. I believe in me and, most of all, I believe in our creative recovery.



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