4 common excuses for avoiding creative me-time and how to tackle them

It took a while for me to start with drawing, painting and calligraphy. I always thought that that was not something for me, because I couldn’t draw, I didn’t have time and had no idea how to start. There was always an excuses not to do it. My first creative endeavor was actually born out of necessity. It was the week before my husband’s birthday and I wanted to buy a card for him, but I had a cold and wasn’t allowed outside because of covid regulations. I didn’t want to order a random card online and started browsing the Internet to look up simple DIY birthday cards. After finding one that seemed easy enough to make, I started drawing letters with a fineliner and making candles out of a role of washi tape that I found in a box. It was far from perfect, but it was so fun to make that I wanted more. I started looking up tutorials and courses about calligraphy and drawing and that’s when my creative journey finally began.

Do you have any excuses for not starting? In this blog I will discuss 4 common excuses that I hear a lot and I used to use myself as well. Hopefully, with my tips you can tackle them and discover how much fun it is to create something.

“I don’t have time”

This is an excuses that I used a lot in the past. Every day it seems like there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done, especially with a three-year-old around. Unfortunately, you can’t magically add extra time to your day (wouldn’t it be wonderful, if that was possible? :-)). The trick here is that you need to make time. Look at all the things you do all day and know that everything you do is a choice. Prioritise. Are there things that you can do later or is there some one else that can do them for you or help you? The important thing is to start small and try to find 10 minutes a day just for you. Maybe you have some time on your lunch break, or you can skip scrolling aimlessly through all the social media on your phone (yep, this is me), or you can only watch part of an episode on TV. Somewhere in your day, it must be possible to find 10 minutes of me-time. Even 10 minutes to create a day can help you clear your mind and distract you from the day-to-day worries and struggles.

“I don’t have supplies”

Don’t we all love new and pretty supplies? We see everyone on instagram creating art with beautiful brush pens or expensive paint and in turn we think that those things are needed to get started. This is so not true! You only need a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to get started. And if you don’t even have paper? Just start drawing on the back of a newspaper or a magazine. It does not matter. Maybe your kids have some crayons, colored pencils or paint that you can borrow. Those are fine to start with as well. Just use what you have and it will be fine.

“I can’t draw/paint and have horrible handwriting”

For me this excuse is the one that I used most of the time. We think we are not good enough and compare ourselves to all the wonderful artists we see online. We are too afraid to start, because we think we are not gonna match up. But that’s the thing: you don’t have to. I love this quote by Tim Hiller:

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end.”
― Tim Hiller, Strive: Life is Short, Pursue What Matters

I believe everyone can draw or do calligraphy, you just have to try it and you will get better at it every day.
Besides, the process of creating is so much more important than the outcome if you want to use it to clear your head or relief stress. The focus you have when your are drawing or doing calligraphy is the thing that helps you relax and be in the moment. It doesn’t matter how it turns out, because you do it for yourself and no one else.

“I don’t know how to start”

This is an excuses that I completely understand. You look at your blank piece of paper and think “Now what?” This is also one of the reasons why I started The Creative Cooldown. I want to give you tips and exercises that you can use for your creative me-time. Soon I will have more information about this. Please follow me on Instagram for my latest post and subscribe to my email list to get the latest info.
For now, I will give you a simple exercise to start with.

1. Draw some diagonal lines on your page (from bottom-left to the upper-right). No problem if they are a bit wobbly.
2. Now draw some diagonal lines in the other direction (from upper-left to bottom-right).
3. Now create your own pattern. Fill in some sections, either by coloring them in, putting dots in them, drawing lines in them or whatever you like.
4. You can even add some colour, if you have some colored pencils or crayons.

Congratulations you’ve just finished your first creative exercise!

So no more excuses, just start! You will not regret it.

Please let me know in the comments if these tips are helpful and if you’ve completed the exercise. I’d would love to hear from you. You can tag or DM me on instagram as well.

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Simple pattern exercise

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