If you could tweak or redesign your way of life to inspire and support more of your own kind of productive creativity, what would your life design look like?
Would you need to be rich, or to ditch your day job? Or change your bedtime and rising time to give yourself another productive hour in the day?
Would you need to get married and get your family started, or get the kids into school or grown and gone? To be in love again, or be free of entanglements and dependents entirely? To be more intentional about how you spend the hours you have been given?
Do you need a retreat, artist’s colony, or sabbatical? A grant, a sponsor, tenure, or complete independence?
Do you need a bigger house, a studio apartment, a private office, better furniture or tools, a better view, a massive mahogany desk, a new computer/tablet/phone/software suite/fine ink pen? Or the courage or persistence to create a few minutes or hours of quiet, uninterrupted time in your day?
Do you need to become a minimalist or a connoisseur of inspiring artifacts?
Do you need investors, an agent, a guru, a flesh and blood muse, a therapist, a coach? A better boss, or to be your own boss? A housekeeper, an assistant, a manager, programmer, web designer, or a master teacher?
More support from your family or respect from your friends? Or do you need to be more honest, kind, or serious with yourself?
Nature or nightlife? People or privacy? Grit or glamour?
Do you need to be healthier, wiser, younger, older, from a different family or state or country or zip code?
Do you need to live in the country or move to the city? Or rearrange the space where you currently work, give it a fresh coat of paint, or get the clutter out?
Do you need a degree, or another degree, or a different one?
Do you need reviews, or better ones? More experience, or to be just starting out again with the fresh energy of a beginner?
Or do you need to just get to work, or take a break, or a real vacation?
Any of these may be useful to your creative life, though many might also be creativity killers in the wrong hands. A few of them might be absolutely necessary for your creative life.
We must figure out which is which.
So go ahead, design the fantasy version of your best creative lifestyle. Probably there will be something useful to learn from that fantasy, and perhaps even real goals to work toward, sacrifices to make in order to get there, sweeping changes to be made in order to live the way you want to live.
Then design your best creative life from the one you have today. The people, resources, obligations and opportunities that are in it. Within this life, is there some important editing or adding that needs to happen, within your present capability?
There may actually be people or major habits changes or big commitments that really need to be let go of, or brought on board, and you may need support to figure out what’s what and how to make it happen. If so, do that. If your life is standing in the way of your life, it’s best not to stay asleep about that much longer.
Or the life you have now may turn out to surprise you with its potential to support a delightfully productively creative life. There will be tweaks, repairs, and enhancements on your list. You will have to prioritize them and work on them as you can.
In the meantime, work. Which really means play, if you are doing creative work that is your own.
Let these dreams, plans and insights inform what you do to shape your creative environment going forward. But don’t let it fool you into thinking that once these changes are made, you will finally be able to do your true creative work.
You can start it now, continue it now, give it life with the life you gave. This is how every creative producer has done it, and how you will, too.