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Finding the Time to Be Creative, a Parent, and still Provide for my Family

May 29, 2013

scene cardsAs a semi-new parent (my son just turned 2), I’m constantly faced with a dilemma; how do I find the time to pursue my creative endeavors while I have a 9 to 5 job which pays our bills and I want to be the best dad I can be?  The answer(s) are never really simple, but the following are a few fairly obvious tricks I use to continue to live my life in a creative manner.

1. Talk to your spouse.  Let them know that this is important to you.  Work with them to find the time, because if you are happy with yourself, it will be evident in your parenting, your marriage and will undoubtedly rub off on your child.  The act of pursuing goals that are important to you will encourage your child to be optimistic, happy, and pursue their own dream.  Facing challenges head-on will make you an inspiration to your child.

2. Give up sleep 🙂  If you want to be there for your child and take part in their life, then you can’t be on the iPhone, tablet, or computer during the soccer games, the school concerts, or the doctor visits.    That would be cheating.  You might as well not go if you’re not going to pay attention and cheer your child on.  You need to be present in whatever you are doing.  When you are parenting, be a parent.  Leave the project at home.  When you are creating, do that.  Sit at your desk.  Go to your workspace, your garage, wherever it is that you do what you do, and go create.  I’ve found that the time that I can sit for the longest period of time and really immerse myself in my work is when everyone else is asleep.  So, if you can handle the vampire life, and you don’t need a lot of shuteye, you could work nights on your projects.

3. Find motivation in your life – The day I decided to write a comic was the day my son was born.  I’ve always enjoyed the medium as a fan.  I had been assembling a library of my favorite books inscribed by their creators with words of encouragement to my son about embracing creativity in life.  I began the collection a few months before he was born, but when I saw him face to face I realized it wasn’t enough to gather words of wisdom from other people.  I want to impart those words, so I decided I’ll create a comic specifically for him.

4. Avoid distractions – Twitter is fun.  Facebook is good for keeping up with friends.  You can tumble through tumblr all day, but don’t.  Social networking can be a great tool for exactly that, networking.  Just don’t let it suck you into never-ending conversations about the social ramifications of an individual scene in the latest Star Trek film.  You may feel the need to get your two-bits out there into the twittersphere, but just do it and get out.  There is an inherent danger in social networking; it never closes.  It’s not like a bar that shuts the doors at eleven.  It’s always open, and there are always conversations to join, but you don’t have to.   You have a choice.  You can argue about Game of Thrones, or you can go write your own Fantasy epic.

These are simply a few of my techniques.  I need to be inspired, an inspiration, a loving dad and husband, sleep deprived, and wear social networking blinders.  Maybe you agree.  Maybe not.  Maybe you have very different ways of going about it. I’m going to go write something now, and leave you with a fun two panel comic example of how my son and I like to have fun and be creative together.

Darth Yoga

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