The Benefits of Working on a Whim

Working on a Whim: Wooly Mastadon

I like my life scheduled, so well scheduled I can tell you where I will be a month in advance. I’m still used to a life of school, where your life is planned, each assignment neatly layed out on a syllabus with breaks and weekends marked out for homework. I’m used to structure…And then I started working part-time. I learned the meaning of planning last-minute since I only ever learn my schedule for the week the Friday before. I had to learn to let go. Yet, I am realizing in some things, I have always been this way, not planning, just doing whatever I want when I feel like it. That area of life is my creativity. Yes, I did go to art school, so there was structure for four years of creativity, but for my fiber and personal adventures, I always work on a whim.

The thing is, it works. I don’t schedule when I get a really good idea for a hat design and sit down right then and there, design it, and knit it all in one day. I don’t plan when I’m going to draw something cool to use for one of my designs in Illustrator. I don’t know when I’ll start playing my clarinet again, just for fun. I get an idea, and I do it. Perhaps I plan, but often I just do. Working without knowing my schedule in advance from week to week makes this habit even more solid.

And this habit completely goes against the grain of what most people would consider a sucessful career or life choice. The structure, the planning, the calculation all must be there for you to have success. I disagree. I feel it is important to remember or first realize how you work best and when it works for you. If it means stop pushing, sit back and take that part time job to ease your creative process, then do it. If it means detailing a work schedule to keep track, then do it. If it means quitting your day job to follow your dreams, go for it. Currently, I’m in the position of the part-time (full-time hours) job so that I have time free of too much financial stress to use to create. It is a wonderful thing, and working on a whim is much easier. My days off are often a mix of a sudden cleaning spur and a creative burst of knitting/crochet/spinning/etc. I like it that way.

I’m not saying that I will always be this way, and that this should be the way you operate in all areas of life (umm, bills don’t wait until you feel a whim to pay them, just sayin’). Yet, right now, for me, it is the way I use my creativity, and it is freeing. This was a bit of a revelation for me, and perhaps it will help you find your best way to create. There are lots of thoughts here, but into the new year, I feel my creativity will be freed from its chains of the all-knowing planner.

~Stay Inspired


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