A month ago I saw Rachael Ashe at a Vancouver Mini Maker Faire event and she suggested we make a coffee date. She's recently started working on her art full time and she's been initiating coffee dates with lots of people. It's something I used to do a lot, but haven't done at all since the baby arrived. Since we started needing to pay for childcare, I've had a hard time not “working” when we’re paying the babysitter.
The thing about creative work, of course, is that it just doesn't get done at all if you're burnt out. And when I'm burnt out, I'm paying the babysitter so I can stare at Pinterest and wish I were sleeping. It's way more worthwhile to pay the babysitter so I can recharge and get tons more work done.
Note to Self: Keeping up connections to people in my community is an integral part of my solo creative business. An integral part. Do not neglect it!
So. This morning I woke up tired and freaked out about my lengthy to-do list and tempted to hide under the covers and/or cancel my plan with Rachael. But this is the Rut Race and I did no such things. Which is good because Rachael and I got to know each other better and we talked about challenges we’re experiencing and we talked about our goals and we talked about people we know who might help the other in some way or another. It was fun and the place where we met was lovely and I'm so very glad we met up.
Then, since I'd already spent 45 minutes on the bus getting to Gastown, I had lunch with Emily, coordinator of Vancouver Maker Faire. We talked about how I can help more and we talked about the meaning of making and we talked about projects we want to do together. I always love talking to Emily, and it was a treat to have her all to myself for a time.
And now I'm writing this on my bus ride home. I'm exhausted because the baby didn't sleep well last night and so I didn't sleep well last night. And I'm feeling stressed because I still have that pile of work waiting for me and I'll only have an hour to work on it before the babysitter leaves. But I'm so glad I spent the bulk of my day with creative people I admire.
I have a list of items to follow up on. I feel connected to other creative people. I feel a part of something special and important.
Assuming I catch up on sleep tonight, I'm confident I'll wake up tomorrow feeling even more glad about what I did today.
Have you been keeping yourself chained to your desk out of obligation or fear? (Stop doing that.)