Letters for Creatives #13: Tips to arrange your time when you are a writer or artist
Schedule your day around creative hours
Hello, I am Celeste. Each week I write about marketing, creativity and writing. The first interview with a writer for Interview with an artist series can be found here.
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I learn a lot from Austin Kleon. His books come to great use when I need some advice on my creative endeavour. I got his latest book on creativity Keep going. It is such a suitable book to read for uncertain times. It is even more important when you are a writer or artist during uncertain times. It is especially important to manage your time when you are a creative entrepreneur.
Make your own routine
When you feel that you cannot control anything, the best thing to do is control what you do every day. You would most likely do the same tasks every day.
It can ground you and give you something to hold onto. You can create at your own pace. You can write or create every day, every other day or in other frequencies. You should build your routine around your personality and responsibilities in life.
When you don’t know what to do next, your routine tells you.
— Austin Kleon
Manager’s and maker’s schedule
Paul Graham suggested that there is a schedule called the manager’s schedule and another as the maker’s schedule. The former is for bosses where the schedule is arranged in one-hour blocks. When there is a new task or meeting, you can put it in one or several blocks where you are free. The later is more suitable for writers or someone who makes or creates as a living.
Writers, artists or makers usually use half their day or the whole day to write an essay or work on a book, finish a painting when they want to sell it. When someone interrupts you when you are on a maker’s schedule, it breaks the flow state you are in and takes you much more time back to flow state after the interruption.
When your boss at work or family member at home interrupts you during your flow state of creating, you would most likely need to do what they tell you to.
Schedule your day around your creative hours
When you are in a maker’s schedule in the morning or late evening, you can work on tasks that require you to solve a creative problem. It can be making a website, designing, writing, creating art, etc.
When you are in a manager’s schedule in the afternoon, you can do anything except your creative projects. You can use social media, write an email, follow up on tasks, organize your workspace or computer, etc. You can use your time when someone asks you for your time to chat or work on a collaboration.
It is not a one size fits all advice in terms of when you should create in the day. Reflect and find the best time for you to create, block off half a day and do administrative tasks outside your creative hours.
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