Exploring Women's Creativity

Finding Focused Time and Space

learn when and how to increase your focus on creative projects

sewing is focused creativity

Although inspiration needs space and unfocused time to gestate it is also necessary to plan focused time in a place where we can carry out our creative plans. Moodling and focused work on a project are simply two sides of the same coin.

Moodling involves a more open mode where we enjoy letting thoughts come in without an immediate purpose or with any pressure to accomplish. We also need time in a more closed mode we are purposefully implementing our ideas and our options are narrowed somewhat to what will work for the specific project.

Creativity is a cycle including a time of observation and imagination in the early stages. This will at times occur during "moodling" as well as in more structured settings. We then move on to working directly on our plans. This later part of the cycle is the one we are most concerned with in this article.

There comes a time when we must sit down and concentrate on our creative projects. We will still find we are observing and using our imagination as we go, but the main focus will be carrying out the work to complete our creation. Finding time and space to work is an important beginning. Motivation is also needed to get us into that focused mode that gets things done.

I will start with the question of space. Imagine what your ideal creative space would be and write it down. Do you need quiet or music, clutter or a clear empty space, mobility or a stationary spot? What tools do you need? What will inspire and renew you? Is it an open window to the garden or candles and flowers that give you a lift? After you have written about your dream space take a look at reality. How can you even partially create this space? You may not be able to include all your ideas in a space of your own but you will be surprised at how many of them can in some way be incorporated.

In terms of motivation, I believe one thing that makes it easier to just get down to work is that we have allowed ourself time to moodle. As a result we have some ideas and inspiration to get us started. Also we are not already burned out from too much concentrated effort. We feel renewed us and are more likely to be ready and eager to get started on the project.

I find it also helps to envision the what my finished product will be like. I may arrange a few blocks of a quilt I am making and leave it nearby to enjoy and to remind me of what the completed quilt will look. Or I might set out some finished pages of an ongoing scrapbook album to remind me of what I am accomplishing. Written work is a little harder but I find having completed poetry and articles at hand reminds me that I have some writing that I feel good about and can do it again.