I’m an extremely contrary person by nature. Most of my early twenties were spent pinpointing societal norms, and finding creative ways to Not Do The Thing. But as the big Three-Oh looms ever closer, I’ve found I’m mellowing a bit. I still pretty much thumb my nose at authority, and keep finding ways to live an authentic life Outside The Box (entrepreneurship for the win!) – but more and more frequently, I am shocked to find I’m becoming … organized.
This was a really hard thing for me to accept about myself! Can you imagine? I’ve spent more than a decade carefully cultivating just the right amount of creative chaos. This level of character-flaw-cum-eccentricity isn’t accidental. My counterpointed jig to the rest of ya’ll’s drummer took practice. Planning a month in advance? Responding to voicemails in a timely fashion? Maintaining a tidy home? I used to think that shit was for the birds.
The thing is, when I started working from home, I thought I could keep on keepin’ on in that fashion. I thought, Hey! This small business is built upon my Love of Making The Things. I need to keep things the way they are, so my muse never goes hungry. This’ll be awesome!
But see, that only worked for a while. It didn’t take long before I started realizing that my disorganized life was really just a symptom of a disorganized mind (and even a scattered approach to life), and it kinda hit me: if I’m really going to make a successful Go at being self-employed, I need to set goals and plan out how to get to ’em. And that might be a little easier if I know where my craft supplies are … or don’t have to worry about the monstrous pile of dishes that are threatening to take over the kitchen … or know what day I can’t craft because I’m going to be too busy updating my blog.
It still feels a little weird. I mean, I know what work and social obligations I have for the next 40 days, for cryin’ out loud! Does that make me feel a little like I’m selling-out? Well, yeah, sometimes. I’m not always sure I like feeling like such a … a grown-up. But I also can’t deny that organizing my life a little has helped me a lot. And more and more, I’m beginning to think that maybe it wasn’t the chaos that fed my Muse, as much as it was the spontaneous sense of Play I almost always had. And that doesn’t have to go away, just because my house is tidy! I still spend afternoons kicking up fall leaves, or doodling and daydreaming with a tasty Chai Latte. Making sure I carve out time for play is part of what keeps me sane in this sea of organized productivity.
So, since this has been on my mind lately, expect to hear me harangue you about the various tips and tasks that help keep me organized and motivated. If you’re reading my blog, maybe you have a morbid fascination with getting a handle on your creative chaos too. I hope so. It’d be nice to hear I’m not alone. 🙂