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Discover The Secret of Creating Lots of Lovely Things {This is especially for those with little free time}

03/21/2024 18:42:20 +0000
Several years ago, there was a story inside of me. It wasn't brilliant, but it was a thread, an idea that wouldn't let go of me. Encouraged by the writing group I'd recently joined – Shirley, Jenelle, Darlene, Carol and a few others - I began to write.

The outline of a chapter, a description of the main character, a rather lively portrait of the antagonist, a dashing guy, a mysterious plot mixed with a culinary flavor, you get the idea. It wasn't a brilliant idea, it was a bit of The British Bake Off meets Jessica Fletcher but thirty years younger.

There really wasn't time to write a seventy-five-thousand-page book. Not really. Not with all that was going on in life with work and church and helping with extended family and taking care of the never ending things that needed caring and fixing and maintaining. You know this well too. Life is relentless in its demands.

But there was one thing I had. Getting up early wasn't too hard for me. It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't awful.
I realized I had about a twenty-five-minute window I could create before I had to leave for work if I didn't dawdle and got myself together. I couldn't do this every day, but I had twenty-five to thirty minutes three times a week.

I'd get myself all set up, and then I'd turn on the timer for my allotted time and type. I didn't even let myself think too much. Instead, I wrote without editing. Dialogue and description, twists and turns, I'd keep at it until the timer chimed.

The work would be saved, the computer turned off, I'd grab a cup of coffee in my to go cup and run to the car. Slowly, surely, the book was written.

I created in the margins.
The book wasn't great, in fact, it was pretty bad. But the satisfaction of completing it was lovely.

The lesson I learned was invaluable.

You find gold when you create in the margins.
Where is Your Margin Time?
Margin is simply those precious few bits of time that you have throughout the week – it's on a Friday night when the spouse is taking the kids out. It's the twenty minutes before leaving for work. Maybe it's when everyone is watching a show or playing outside or the grandbaby goes down for a nap.

Yes, there are productive things to be done. The laundry, paying the bills or the less productive distractions like Pinterest and solitaire and the latest baby pictures on social media.


Those margins add up. Twenty minutes three times a week times four times a month times twelve months a year is forty eight hours.

Forty eight hours.

Two days of time that could be poured into a desire, a passion, creating, making DIY Christmas gifts, painting, writing.

You can get a lot done in forty-eight hours.
Margin time is gold.

Here's the fascinating thing. One could go on a two-day retreat for painting or weaving or playing the piano or designing tropical floral arrangements. And that would be great.
(for goodness sake, go on the two day retreat, btw. I am an advocate. It will be fuel on the fire of your amazing margin time).

But something shifts when you do something more consistently over time, than trying to do it all at once. Rhythms happen. Habits form. Things change in our brains and fingers. We start to ruminate on that newly developed, getting-stronger-all-the-time creating muscle.
Suddenly stanzas to poems unwind in our minds. We see color patterns for the quilt or the embroidery pattern. Flowers appear and inspire a new idea for a bouquet or a painting. A story, long buried and almost forgotten in our hearts, comes to life.

Take advantage of your margins. Maybe not all of them, but a few a week. See what happens when you begin to create consistently in the small chunks of time available. The laundry can wait (most of the time). The dishes can wait. Email can wait. The texts can be responded to in thirty minutes. Scrolling on the phone can wait for later too.

(See tips for making the most of margin time in this article here). Article Coming Soon.
What will you do with your time? What will you do with your desires? There is a connection here – between desires and time.
So often we discount our desires as unimportant or unessential. We discount our desires and so we discount our time. Is there a connection here? There may be. How I spend my time reflects my interior life, what I believe, how I am doing.

No, I am not advocating that we turn into never ending, never stopping human doings. That, too, is a reflection of our interior lives.
What Will You Do With Your Gift of Margin Time?
But I know that when I give in to distraction too many times, the desires diminish. I grow numb to them.

Second, it gets harder to use the time I'm given in more constructive and restorative ways, even the things I consider to be restorative and refreshing.

How to begin when one feels a bit rusty? If you want to paint, take one of my courses designed for people without a lot of time: Exuberant Flowers: Painting without (Much) Sketching or paint-with-me on YouTube.

For those who are looking for a faith + creative course, Painting and Praying through Psalm 23 provides an opportunity to paint florals with watercolor while diving into a beloved psalm.

Take a class or watch a video on YouTube. But don't spend too long analyzing and thinking about what to do or how to do it. The most important thing is to start.

Don't discount your margin time. Even if it's fifteen minutes at night or an hour on Saturday mornings. The margins count.

A desire into a thriving endeavor with the margins of your life.
Author: Melissa AuClair

I love teaching others easy techniques for creating gorgeous floral and seasonal art. Flowers, seasons, and holidays are some of my favorite themes to paint and play with.

Paint with me on YouTube, find more in-depth courses on the website, and shop all the art, stationery & stickers in the online store.

California, United States
The Creative Season © 2021

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