Finding (or not finding) my flow: art in the time of parenting

Hello Magpies!

I am sorry that I missed last week’s post. My brain feels like a sack of porridge at the moment.

I have been thinking a bit about creativity and the stop start nature of artistic work when you are also a parent of a young child. While it took me a while to adjust to having a young son, I feel as though I have got to a place where I am fitting in art, writing or film making every day at the moment. Baby Magpie’s naps have got slightly more predictable, and I’ve also found some time some evenings to do stuff.

So the logistics are beginning to work themselves out, and I am pleased with myself for that. But for me there is a second element to creative work that is really important, and that I’m having a bit less success with. I can have a plan, and follow the plan. I can do 200 words a day for example, but are they good words?

I struggle to find my flow when I am squeezing in work into twenty minute chunks here and there. Flow is a psychological concept, described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, that describes that really enjoyable mental state where everything is working together, your focus is aligned with what you are doing, and time passes by unmarked. If you are interested in reading more, I think this book is good.

I find that it is in this state that my best ideas for my art come to me, and I find it hard to completely enter that state when I also have one eye, or one ear on the baby. Has anyone else experienced this? if you have, and have tips on how to manage this pleased let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

6 comments

  1. Your plan to do 200 words a day is a great one but, I think, asking if they are good words is the sort of idea that could sabotage you. If you really do 200 words a day, you will soon have so many words that you will have plenty of good ones and the rest won’t matter anymore. Congratulations on making time to keep creating whilst looking after your baby. I wish you luck with your endeavours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My word quality definitely rises and falls in accordance with what my kids are up too. I’ve found that if I keep pushing for the 10-15 minuet moments with editing or note-taking then I’m more ready for the flow when I get a longer span of time to work. It’s one of those constant battle things, very trial and error. And I really think it’s very different for everybody.

    Liked by 1 person

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