Freelance Blog + success

Guest Post: Finding My Place

By Colleen Gonzalez

I currently contribute to a group blog about creativity. The blog contains many talented and accomplished artists in various genres. I am not one of them.

Like a lot of adults, I stifled my creativity for many years. Work, marriage and eventual motherhood all took precedent over feeding my muse. Now, at 41, it's catching up with me and I can no longer ignore who I am and what I need to do to find peace within myself.

This is why, when Eric Maisel sent out a call for people interested in his group blog project, Creativity Central, I dove into the opportunity. What did it matter that I had no credentials and even published works. He asked everyone to pick a topic they knew about. For me that topic was time: where to find it, how to make it, how to use it effectively when it's there and how to basically get blood from a stone!

Everything I use to consider an obstacle or excuse not to write is still prevalent in my life. I'm still married with a full-time job. I have two children, a dog, a house and commitments galore. I try to never over schedule myself or my children. Yet, there is still an endless array of school functions, doctor appointments, vet appointments, grocery shopping, basketball games, drama performances, not mention holidays and birthdays. It's far easier to find a realistic reason not to write than to let the pile up around you while you try to bang out an essay or blog entry.

Sometimes, I think I am truly crazy. If I waited this long to write, why not wait another three to five years when my kids are grown and I truly do have more time? Well, I guess my answer to that is the big 4 – O. I wouldn't really say I had a mid-life crisis, but turning 40 does make you step back and reassess your life. I wasted a large portion of my life not feeling smart enough, thinking I lacked talent and constantly worrying about what other people thought. Fortunately, age usually gives way to acceptance and a self love. We start to appreciate what makes us different and not really care about what others think and instead focus on what makes us happy. I'm grateful that it didn't take an affair or expensive sports car. For me it was getting back to what I always wanted to be…a writer. Age made me realize that it's more about the act of creating – not public success- that makes me a writer.

Now, all of these realizations and self promotions are great, yet it doesn't put my butt in the chair everyday. Some days, like when the kids' homework takes till 11:30 p.m., I really don't have time to write. I have to let that day go, not wallow in guilt and move on. It's always going to be a challenge. One of the things I learned is that something will always get in the way. If I suddenly had my days completely free to write, I'm confident I'd find yet another reason to procrastinate. Actually, I could not have picked a better time in my life to do this. If I can incorporate writing into the chaos that is my life, I'll conquer the demons and lay a strong foundation for a future that will afford more "me" time which I hope equates to more writing time.

I figure there are lots of people like me out there. We have jobs that are just jobs. We don't create in our daily lives, but we feel compelled to create. The struggle to find time and balance is all part of the creative process. Maybe I can inspire you to share this endeavor. I decided to appropriately name my blog, "Don't Quit You Day Job." You can check in on me every Monday. I hope to see you there!

Colleen Gonzalez lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently group blogging about creativity at Eric Maisel’s Creativity Central. Her blog, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” is posted every Monday and can be found at Eric Maisel Creativity Central. Colleen also has a passion for movies TV, books and music. Her reviews and opinions about all things wonderful and possibly horrific can be found at Colleenie's Couch

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Guest Post: Finding My Place + success