Creative time is an idea that has been hovering around for quite some time now, but it is something I have never really bought in to. This year, however, I know that I have to reevaluate my focus and realise that creative time is the core of any business, the time to brainstorm and create new ideas that could essentially lead to new work and to also give my brain a section of time each week to just let go. I want to feel connected to my art again and I know that, for both James and myself, basing your career on your hobby can sometimes sap that connection out of you. So, whether creative time means pouring out all of the information I have jammed into my brain onto a piece of paper, researching new ways to market, or simply heading outside to take some photographs for myself, 2018 has got to see more moments of clarity.
Last Wednesday we decided to do something that we don’t often do as self employed people and take an afternoon for ourselves. Sometimes, when people think of being self employed or working from home, they imagine that we spend our time floating out of bed at 10am to a long breakfast, followed by taking a few photographs here and there, and then meeting up with friends for lunch dates in coffee shops. As much as that is probably what I had in mind for myself when I entered onto this path, it really couldn’t be further from the truth. I for one have had to really force myself into a work schedule, train myself to switch off rather than working 100% of the time, and remind myself that it is OK to have a break. So Wednesday afternoon was exactly that: a break, with creative intentions.
Living in the Shropshire hills it is easy for us to take for granted the beauty we have on our doorstep, so we ventured just twenty minutes from home up to the top of the Clee Hill. What we hadn’t anticipated was the thin blanket of snow that we discovered upon arrival. It was cold, but the air was crisp and the views were clear for miles. We trudged through the ice at our own pace, capturing photos as we went and stopping at short intervals to breath the fresh air deep into our lungs. It was the kind of cold that left your nose red and your lips chapped, that had us thawing out our hands over the car heaters when we returned, but it was a perfect afternoon nonetheless. We disconnected for a couple of hours and gave our minds a rest from the chaos and just adventured for a while. Sometimes, that is just what we need in order to create, to be our most productive selves. Sometimes we just need to stop, take a deep breath and walk on.
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