I’m Not doing art?


One of the very few paintings created since quitting my job!


I’m now on week 7 of being a full time artist, and to be honest, I’ve found myself floundering, not sure how to move through my new unstructured life.

Although grateful beyond words to finally the time to create anytime I wish, I’m surprisingly not creating very much.

Why you ask?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself over and over, and over!

Here’s the thing. I became really good at fitting art into ALL the nooks and crannies of my on-the-road, full-time employee life.  When I left my job in December, I envisioned that I would float through my days like a free-as-a-bird artist, creating art whenever I felt inspired.

Yet with so much unscheduled time, I have found myself unsure of when or even what to create.

I have found a million excuses for NOT doing art – everything from I need to take care of sick relative (actually a good excuse) to needing to buy more art supplies (I have plenty already).  Anything not to sit my butt down and create art, the one thing I love doing more than anything else.

Oddly enough, I created more art with a job because I had a daily ritual that I followed religiously.

So even though I love to float through my days without a schedule (consistent with my MBTI type of ENFP), I actually thrive when following a daily routine, including a set time for creating art every day.

After taking a couple weeks to create what my new daily ritual could look like, I’m giving it an initial test drive this week.  Once I tweak it a bit, I’ll share it in detail, but until then, here is a sneak peak of what I’m doing each day.

  • I’m starting my days at 5 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on the type of exercise I have planned.  Art making starts around 9am.  I’m giving myself weekends to float through my day anyway I wish, and to focus on my marriage and community.  There are many more parts to this daily ritual, which I promise to share as soon as I work out the kinks!

What is YOUR daily ritual?  How do you navigate through your week?  Please share in the comments to inspire us all to find more effective ways to find time for our deepest hearts desire.

12 thoughts on “I’m Not doing art?”

  1. I can so relate to the floundering and the need for structure.
    I also find myself getting sidetracked with the enormous amount of things that have been occurring in my personal life (Both good and bad.) As I am feeling so emotionally exhausted, I am finding hard to be creative even though its the thing I want to do the most!
    I need accountability, Catherine!!

    • We’re in a similar place for sure. My new schedule is really helping me stay on track, focused on creating art each morning. Hard when there are so many things competing for my attention. Glad to know there we’re in this together! Love, Cat

  2. I can relate to this very well! I do not work outside the home, so when I decided to buckle down and watch my video classes, practice my photography, and start a blog, I was certain it would be a breeze! Nope. I find myself inundated with a million small but necessary things to do all day, every day. The dogs need walking, the bathrooms need cleaning. There are those pesky doctor appointments. It goes on and on. I think for me to be in the zone to create, I have to have everything else in the home calm and under control. This just doesn’t happen by itself!

    • I so know what you mean Virginia! However for me, I find that I use all those tasks as an excuse for why I don’t sit down and create art. Truth is that those tasks never seem to ALL get done, so art doesn’t either. I too feel more at peace when my home is in order, but I need to allot a certain amount of time to that each day, or those tasks seem to eat up all my art making time simply because doing tasks is easier than creating art! Can you relate? Thanks so much for sharing your experience and walking this creative path alongside me. Hugs, Cat

  3. This is so me. I realize I keep commitments to everyone else, but not me. I schedule time to create, but I don’t. For me, I think it’s about honoring me and realizing some creative time is as important as finishing the laundry, cleaning the house & making dinner. Maybe more important. Can’t wait to see your schedule. Thanks for sharing your journey. I started following you recently and found your podcasts during a difficult time. They were very helpful and inspiring.

    • Tracie, I so agree with what you said. It is so easy to allow all the tasks and multiple priorities to eat up our creative time. Now I’m treating my schedule as a job, and I can let my “employer” down by not showing up. My scheduled art time is the highest priority, and everything else fits around it.

      I’m so glad that you found my podcast interviews helpful. Believe it or not, they help me too. Reminds me of how I want to show up for new things that I’m learning to deal with. Lovely to be learning and growing along side you. Love, Cat

  4. I love this post. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. It follows that wonderful conversation we had on Instagram the other day. When to allow for inspiration to move you and when to just show up. I feel part of my struggle was simply due to the fact that I needed more time to heal and get back to myself. That trumps even my priority of doing what I love most. Now I am getting closer and closer to feeling my whole self again and I feel it is time for me to lean in and try on a schedule.

    I feel too that this will stop resistance and fruitless floundering, while simultaneously the focus on a specific task will summon the energy needed for that task. I love the idea of giving myself the satisfaction of knowing that I am showing up for what is important to me and moving forward on those goals, while being gentle with myself with regard to the expectations I have of what happens when I show up. At this time, even sitting there and have nothing happen will be more satisfying than to not show up at all.

    Thanks Cat, for sending this message into the world today. It came just as I needed it. Love, Yvon

    • So beautifully put Yvon! I so agree that at least we’re showing up even if the output isn’t anything “special”. I’m treating my art life as a job, meaning I’m putting the same amount of energy on it as I gave my employer for many years. But that also means that I’m showing up, even when I’m tired or uninspired. Thing is that once I get started the tiredness almost always goes away and I find the inspiration I was looking for. So far following a schedule is my only solution to putting focused energy into what I most love to do. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on the same thing. So sweet to see that we are walking just a similar path, and are able to support each others journey through it. Hugs, Cat

  5. Oh my goodness. We are such kindred spirits. Every word you said on Steph Crowder’s Courage and Clarity podcast went straight to my heart and soul – and here we are again. First, I never connected the dots with my MBTI of ENFP being something that linked in to not wanting (and yet craving) a fixed schedule. I work from home – and get no writing done. So I get a part time job, and then another part time job, and then become president of a volunteer organization, and volunteer coordinator for another, and suddenly with 2 jobs and 2 business and a heavy volunteer schedule… I’m writing. Not much, but I’m writing. Not much is better than not at all. I am redoing the landing page on my website this week, finishing an email course for my tiny (but not for long) email list, and writing. Sitting down and putting who I am onto the page to connect with those people who need me to be who I am.

    Thank you for reminding me. <3

    • Oh my goodness Penny, what a profoundly truth-filled comment! LOVE LOVE LOVE what you wrote about craving a schedule and not wanting one at the same time! A schedule is how we tame our ENFP nature! So lovely to be on this path with you my new friend. Hugs, Cat

  6. I relate, Cat – and obviously we’re not alone! I’ve been through a couple of cycles of this, always thinking from one side that it will be better the other way (the grass is always greener?) and nope. It’s always a challenge, no matter what. No one ever said that doing what we want, what we crave, what our soul is crying out for…. would be easy. When I most recently went through this transition (pretty concurrent with yours) I thought about a firm schedule, but I have yet to put it into place. Mostly, my rule is Just Make Something. I’ve been thinking of doing a 30-day art challenge sometimes soon, and just saw your link to the Daisy Yellow article, thank you. Keep going! You’ll get there, and so will I. XOXO

    • It is reassuring to know that what we’re going through is experienced by so many. Nice to be going through this together! I have been on my new schedule for 2 1/2 weeks now, and for the most part, its keeping me focused toward what matters most. Who knew having so much time would be an issue with getting art created! I too believe that just making anything is key, even if its horrible looking in the end. So bottom line I’m doing the same as you, just making sure I create SOMETHING everyday, Monday-Friday. I take the weekends off for balance and do something other than art! Thanks so very much for sharing your experience with me. Warmly, Cat


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