Ruth Mason
Writer, mother, parent educator, activist, gardner

Dialogue with the creative spirit within

I am failing miserably in my ongoing struggle to find free time. In a desperate move, I decided to engage the part of me that so wants this to see if she has some idea of what to do.

Me: Well, here we are.

CSW: Yeah.

Me: You don’t sound happy.

CSW: I’m happy for the crumbs. Better than nothing.

Me: I know. It’s a struggle for me. It sounds so simple: Have big blocks of free, unstructured time so the muse can visit more often. I thought I had that today.

CSW: But then “things to do” came up and you didn’t stop to think. You just went with them. Bottom line: It’s clear I’m not a priority.

Me: Yes you are! What am I always saying? “What brings me the most joy? Being creative.”

CSW: We agree on that.

Me: So how do we move from theory to practice?

CSW: Let’s try this: I’ll throw out an idea and you throw out one.

Me: OK. Morning pages.   Surely I can find 10 minutes every morning.

CSW: I like that. But we know…

Me: Yes, I’ve wanted to do it forever. And do I do it?

CSW: We know the answer to that.

Me: OK. But we’re throwing out ideas.

CSW: Weekly artist’s date.

Me: Yes, I’ve wanted to do that ever since I read about it in The Artist’s Way.

CSW: Pencil – no pen  -it in. Right now. Go get your calendar.

Me: OK. Thursday 4-6 in the Moon Grove. And I will consider this a real date. Just like I wouldn’t cancel on a friend, I won’t…

CSW: Just do your best.

Me: I feel better already.

CSW: So do I.

Me: So let’s be smart and start small. An artist’s date once a week…?

CSW: You wonder if you can.

Me: Yeah. But there is no reason I can’t. I have four free days a week now!  

CSW: Yeah. But you’ll be seduced by your “to do” list  and your pile…

Me: I’ve been thinking about that. I could put aside two hours a week just for that. Or I could try to cross off two things a day.

CSW: I like the once a week thing. It gets us out of your “to do” mode. Which is death to me. If it’s every day, it’ll still be there all the time.

Me: Right.

CSW: OK. The calendar.

Me: You’re a very practical creative spirit.

CSW: It’s a myth that creators aren’t practical. How else could we create?

 Me: OK. We have an artist’s date 4-6 p.m. on Thursdays. And I’ll sit with my “to do” list 10-12 on Mondays. Yay.

CSW: Yay.

Me: Let’s stay in close touch so you can help me stick to this.

CSW: In close touch is where I want to be.

Me: In close touch is where I want to be.

About the Author
Born to Bukharian parents in Los Angeles, Ruth Mason immigrated to Israel with her family in 1993 after a long stint in Manhattan. She is a veteran journalist and columnist who now writes for Shatil, the action arm of the New Israel Fund. A lifelong baby lover, she teaches parent-infant classes based on the RIE and Pikler approaches.